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MR5.  WHITMAN'S  LETTERS 


[An  additional  number  of  the  letters  written  by  Mrs.  Nar- 
cissa  Whitman  to  her  relatives  in  New  York,  have  recently  been 
secured,  together  with  some  very  important  ones  from  Dr.  Whit- 
man himself,  incidentally  alluding  to  matters  which  of  late  years 
have  been  the  subject  of  much  controversy.  The  originals  of  the 
letters  in  this  pamphlet,  as  well  as  those  in  the  Transactions  of 
this  Association  for  1891,  are  in  my  possession  as  a  permanent 
contribution  to  the  archives  of  our  Association.  At  my  earnest 
solicitation  they  were  donated  to  us  by  Mrs.  Harriet  P.  Jackson, 
a  sister  of  Mrs.  Whitman,  who  lived  at  Oberlin,  Ohio,  in  1893, 
to  whom  we  owe  a  vote  of  thanks.  The  letter  of  Rev.  H.  H» 
Spalding  to  Mrs.  Whitman's  father,  giving  probably  the  first  ac- 
count of  the  massacre,  also  appears  in  this  pamphlet. — Geo.  H. 
HlMES,  Secretary.] 


Vancouver,  July  nth,  1843. 

My  Beloved  Sister  Jane: — Your  letters  of  March'and  April,  '42, 
I  received  about  three  weeks  since,  and  can  assure  you  I  was  not 
a  little  rejoiced  in  hearing  from  you,  they  being  the  first  I  have 
received  from  you  since  March,  '40,  by  Mrs.  Littlejohn.  I  have 
written  you  and  Edward  several  times  since — indeed,  I  always 
write  you  every  opportunity,  whether  you  get  them  or  not.  I 
heard  of  the  death  of  dear  sister  Judson  last  September  through 
Lawyer  Divin,  but  no  particulars  until  your  letters  came.  About 
the  same  time  one  came  from  poor  brother  Judson,  the  only  one 
I  have  received  from  him  or  Mary  Ann  since  '39.  My  last  from 
dear  parents  and  Harriet  was  in  September,  '40;  so  you  see  I  have 
not  the  means  of  knowing  but  little  about  you  all,  yet  I  trust  that  I 
am  truly  thankful  for  that  little.     It  is  a  great   cordial  to  me.     I 


Fsso 

£1 


54  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

love  you  all  with  an  undying  love,  and  every  fresh  breeze  I  re- 
ceive fans  it  into  a  burning  flame.  I  feel  not  the  least  disposi- 
tion to  shed  a  tear  on  dear  sister  Judson's  account,  but  rather  to 
rejoice  that  she  is  so  safely  harbored  in  the  bosom  of  her  and 
our  Saviour's  love;  but  for  the  sake  of  those  who  still  live  and 
whom  she  might  be  the  means  of  leading  to  Christ,  I  could  mourn 
and  weep  in  bitterness  of  soul.  I  rejoice,  too,  that  the  sustaining 
grace  of  God  was  so  manifest  to  her  beloved  bereaved  husband, 
and  our  dear  parents,  as  well  as  you  all,  under  the  afflictive  dis- 
pensation. My  first  thought  when  I  heard  of  her  death  was  that  I 
should  be  the  next  to  go;  but  it  may  be  otherwise,  the'Lord  only 
knows.  This  I  do  know,  His  time  will  be  the  best  time,  and  my 
chief  concern  is,  and  shall  be,  to  be  ready  and  have  my  work  done 
and  well  done.  But  O,  what  a  poor  weak  creature  I  am;  how  lit- 
tle I  can  do  to  glorify  His  great  Name.  What  poor  returns  I  make 
daily  for  His  unbounded  goodness  to  me.  If  I  am  saved  I  am  sure 
it  will  not,  it  cannot,  be  because  of  any  intrinsic  worth  in  me,  or 
an)'  of  my  friends,  but  solely  and  alone  for  His  sake  who  gave  His 
own  life  a  ransom  to  save  a  lost  world. 

Dear  Jane,  I  have  the  privilege  of  once  more  addressing  you 
from  Vancouver  where  I  am  spending  a  little  time  very  pleasantly, 
and  where  I  am  favored  with  the  medical  advice  and  treatment 
of  two  very  able  physicians,  Doctors  Barclay  and  Tolmie.  It  will 
soon  be  seven  years  since  I  first  saw  this  place.  I  should  not  be 
here  now  if  my  husband  had  not  gone  home  and  left  me,  or,  I 
should  have  said,  if  my  health  had  been  sufficient  for  me  to  have 
continued  at  my  post  of  labor  among  the  Indians.  Doctor  White, 
the  government  Indian  agent  of  this  country,  advised  me  to  avail 
myself  of  this  opportunity  to  rid  myself  from  care  and  labor,  come 
here  and  attend  to  the  advice  of  Doctor  Barclay  for  the  perfect 
restoration  of  my  health,  and  I  have  no  reason  to  regret  it  so  far.  I 
feel  that  my  health  is  improving,  I  hope,  permanently. 

You  speak  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Abernethy.  I  have  seen  your  letter 
to  them  and  have  only  seen  him  a  short  time  since  I  have  been 
here.     I   hope  to  see  them  both  in  a  few  days,  for  I  am  waiting  a 


:d 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  55 

convenient  opportunity  to  go  to  the  Willamette,  where  I  expect 
to  visit  the  different  members  of  the  Mission  and  spend  a  pleas- 
ant season  among  them.  The  two  Missions  are  three  hundred 
miles  apart  and  it  is  not  easy  to  visit  back  and  forth,  especially 
where  all  hands  are  full  of  business  each  in  his  own  field  of 
labor. 

You  almost  make  me  feel,  from  your  letters,  that  you  will 
accept  of  my  invitation  and  come  over  and  live  with  me  and  help 
me  teach  the  poor  Indians.  Indeed!  are  you  not  now  almost  here 
with  my  beloved  husband?  The  time  draws  near  when  I  hope  to 
see  his  dear  face  again,  and  O!  am  I  to  greet  a  beloved  sister  with 
him,  and,  perhaps,  a  dear  brother,  too?  I  know  not  what  inex- 
pressible joys  or  sorrows  are  before  this  frail,  trembling  heart  of 
mine;  I  feel  that  I  could  not  survive  an  excess  of  either,  my  ner- 
vous system  is  so  much  impaired.  But  I  know  assuredly  that  the 
same  grace  that  has  sustained  me  hitherto  under  fiery  trials,  is 
able  and  will  sustain  in  time  to  come.  I  am  in  His  hand.  The 
nine  months  past  that  I  have  been  separated  from  my  precious 
husband,  have  been  months  of  His  special  favors  to  me  in  this 
dreary  land  of  heathenish  darkness.  The  sacrifice,  if  I  may  call 
it  so,  has  been  a  very  great  one — much  more  so  than  I  at  first 
thought  it  could  be,  even  to  exceed  that  of  leaving  my  native 
land  and  beloved  friends,  and  coming  to  dwell  among  the  hea- 
then. But  the  precious  promises  have"  been  fulfilled  in  my  case 
leaving  all  for  Christ's  sake,  as  J  trust  I  did  in  coming  to  this 
country,  and  freely  consenting  to  be  left  so  feeble  and  lonely 
in  such  a  lonely  situation,  by  my  earthly  protector,  my  husband. 
I  feel  that  I  have  indeed  received  manifold  more  in  this  present 
time  with  an  assured  hope  of  receiving  in  the  world  to  come  life 
everlasting. 

I  am  pleased  to  hear  so  good  an  account  of  dear  E.'s  progress 
in  study  and  piety,  and  sincerely  hope  he  will  be  a  useful  and 
devoted  Christian  minister.  I  wish  he  would  write  me  more,  for 
his  own  sake  as  well  as  mine. 

Miss  Jane  A.  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Alleghany  County, 

New  York,  U.  S.  A. 


56  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 


Waiilatpu^Oregon  Territory,  \ 

April  12th,  1844.      j 

My  Beloved  Father: — I  was  coming  up  the  Columbia  river  from 
the  Willamette  and  Vancouver  with  Rev.  Jason  Lee  when  your 
welcomed  letter  reached  me.  My  husband  had  each  of  the  sta- 
tions of  the  Mission  to  visit  before  he  could  come  after  me.  Mr. 
Lee  brought  me  on  my  way  home  as  far  as  The  Dalles,  to  Mr 
Perkins,  one  of  their  stations,  where  I  spent  the  winter  of  my 
husband's  absence.  I  remained  there  a  few  days,  and  my  long 
absent  doctor  came  for  me.  It  was  a  joyful  and  happy  meeting 
and  caused  our  hearts  to  overflow  with  love  and  gratitude  to  the 
Author  of  all  our  mercies,  for  permitting  us  to  see  each  other's 
faces  again  in  the  flesh.  We  came  home  immediately  after  a 
short  visit  with  friends  there.  My  health,  which  had  been  quite 
poor  some  of  the  time  of  his  absence,  was  somewhat  improved, 
but  the  voyage  up  the  river,  or  rather  the  exposure  of  rain,  cold 
and  fatigue,  and  also  the  journey  from  Walla  Walla  here,  proved 
injurious  to  me.  I  was  so  unwell  when  I  reached  home  that  I 
could  scarcely  get  about  the  house  for  several  weeks.  I  continued 
to  decline,  or,  rather,  had  two  attacks  of  remittent  fever  until  the 
last  of  December,  when  I  was  taken  with  a  very  severe  attack  of 
inflammation  of  the  bowels  and  bloating  which  threatened  almost 
immediate  death.  The  second  night  of  the  attack,  we  almost 
despaired  of  my  living.  From  the  first,  I  was  taken  with  excruci- 
ating pain  and  spitting  bilious  fluid  from  the  stomach,  and  could 
keep  nothing  down,  nor  effect  a  motion  of  the  bowels  sufficient 
to  afford  a  permanent  relief ;  a  clyster  of  salts  was  introduced  into 
the  bowels  with  a  long  tube  and  stomach  pump  the  second  night, 
and  followed  by  a  portion  of  the  same  medicine  in  the  morning, 
which  soon  gave  signs  of  relief.  The  cathartic  operated  favorably 
and  thoroughly,  and  I  recovered  almost  immediately  so  as  to  be 
able  to  sit  up  and  be  about  the  room.  Previous  to  this,  and  al- 
most as  soon  as  husband  returned  and  inquired  into  my  case,  he 
discovered  a  beating  tumor  near  the  umbilicus  and  fears  it  is  an 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  57 

aneurism  of  the  main  aorta  below  the  heart.  If  what  he  fears  is 
true,  he  says  there  is  no  probability  or  possibility  of  a  cure,  or  of 
my  ever  enjoying  anything  more  than  a  comfortable  degree  of 
health,  and  I  am  liable  at  any  moment  to  a  sudden  death.  While 
I  was  at  Vancouver,  I  placed  myself  under  Doctor  Barclay's  care, 
a  surgeon  of  the  H.  B.  Company's.  He  discovered  that  I  had  an 
enlargement  of  the  right  ovary  and  gave  me  iodine  to  remove  it. 
I  was  very  much  improved  by  his  kind  attentions  for  that  com- 
plaint, and  had  it  not  been  for  the  other  difficulty  of  the  aorta 
which  was  not  at  that  time  discovered  by  Doctor  Barclay,  although 
it  existed,  I  might  have  recovered  my  health.  But  the  medicine 
I  took  for  the  cure  of  one  tumor  was  an  injury  to  the  other,  and 
for  three  months  after  my  husband's  return,  my  situation  was  a 
source  of  deepest  anxiety  to  him  and  he  greatly  feared  that  he  was 
about  to  be  bereaved.  But  the  Lord  dealt  in  infinite  loving  kind- 
ness to  us  both,  and  in  answer  to  prayer,  raised  me  up  again.  Yes, 
beloved  parents,  while  I  was  in  that  precarious  state,  and  almost 
without  hope  that  I  should  survive  many  hours,  dear  brother 
Littlejohn,  who  is  now  with  us,  prayed  for  me  with  the  full  assur- 
ance that  the  prayer  of  faith  shall  save  the  sick,  and  the  Lord 
heard  and  answered. 

I  am  now  much  more  comfortable  than  at  that  time  husband 
expected  I  ever  could  be.  I  am  able  to  take  the  whole  care  of  my 
family  and  aid  in  doing  the  most  difficult  part  of  the  work,  or 
that  that  I  cannot  get  done  by  others.  During  the  first  three 
months  after  my  return  to  the  station,  husband  was  confined 
with  the  care  of  me  and  was  obliged  to  have  the  whole  care  of 
the  family  upon  his  mind  at  the  same  time  with  his  other  duties. 
Our  family  was  large  and  at  the  time  I  arrived,  there  were  two 
large  families  of  the  emigrants  in  our  house  besides  Mr.  Little- 
john's,  and  our  own  consisted  of  six  children  and  two  hired  men. 
We  have  written  about  our  half  breed  children,  those  we  had  before 
the  doctor  left;  in  addition  to  those  is  Perrin,  our  nephew,  and  two 
English  girls  of  the  emigrating  party  of  last  year.  One  of  them  is 
thirteen  and  the  other  six;  they  are  motherless;  they  have  both  re- 


58  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

quired  much   training,  but   I  hope  to  realize  much    benefit    from 
them  if  I  should  succeed  in  keeping  them. 

This  paper  is  so  rough  that  it  makes  my  writing  look  very 
miserable  and  I  fear  father  and  mother  will  scarcely  be  able  to 
read  it.  I  should  take  common-sized  letter  paper  did  I  not  wish  to 
write  more  than  one  sheet.  Last  fall  I  did  not  write  a  single 
letter  home.  I  was  not  able  to,  and  feared  I  should  never  have 
the  privilege  again.  Writing  injures  me  very  much,  and  unless  I 
feel  more  than  usually  well  I  find  it  exceedingly  difficult  to 
attempt  it,  especially  as  I  am  situated;  having  just  as  much  labor 
and  care  as  a  weak  person  ought  to  have,  and  much  more  that 
needs  to  be  done. 

My  beloved  parents  need  not  be  surprised  should  they  hear  of 
my  death  soon.  Ever  since  the  fall  of  1840,  the  sickness  I  had  at 
that  time,  I  have  been  declining.  Every  spring  I  revive  and  feel 
quite  well,  and  feel  as  if  I  should  regain  my  health  again,  but 
every  fall  and  winter  I  am  very  miserable.  I  may  live  several 
years  yet,  with  care  and  favoring  myself,  but  I  do  not  expect  it. 
My  dear  parents  must  wish  to  know  how  my  mind  stands  affect- 
ed in  view  of  death.  I  can  sincerely  say  that  "I  would  not  live 
always."  Yet  so  long  as  I  can  be  permitted  to  live  and  be  a  bene- 
fit to  the  living  and  the  cause  of  Christ,  I  desire  to.  At  times  I 
long  to  be  at  rest,  to  be  free  from  sin  and  its  defilements  and  be 
made  complete  in  the  righteousness  of  our  dear  Saviour.  Earth 
and  the  things  of  this  world  in  themselves  considered  have  no 
charms  for  me.  I  can  resign  them  all  for  a  place  in  the  presence 
of  Jesus.  I  feel  that  I  am  a  miserably  poor  sinner,  and  unworthy 
of  a  name  or  a  place  among  the  "sons  and  daughters  of  the  Lord 
God  Almighty."  Yet  I  hope  and  trust  alone  in  the  merits  of  him 
who  is  infinitely  worthy,  for  salvation  from  all  sin  and  unright- 
eousness.    He  is  my  all,  and  I  desire  to  be  His  entirely. 

Last  winter  I  felt  in  some  considerable  degree  what  is  one  of 
the  missionary's  greatest  trials,  to  be  sick  and  nigh  unto  death, 
and    to  die    away  from    father,  mother,  brothers  and  sisters,  and 


TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION  59 

sympathizing  friends.  It  is,  indeed,  no  small  trial  for  flesh  and 
blood  to  endure,  but  thanks  to  God,  His  cheering  presence  can 
more  than  supply  the  absence  of  all  these.  Do  my  dear  parents 
cease  not  to  pray  for  your  afflicted  daughter  that  I  may  be  pre- 
pared; ready,  watching  and  waiting  for  the  summons  to  depart 
and  be  with  Christ  "which  is  far  better."  For  His  sake  and  the 
missionary  cause,  I  could  live  long  and  toil  and  labor  through 
many  a  wearisome  day  and  night  to  aid  in  accomplishing  His 
great  work.  But  as  He  directs,  so  I  desire  to  follow,  and  to  say, 
"The  will  of  the  Lord  be  done." 

I  have  something  to  say  concerning  the  manner  in  which  I 
spent  my  time  last  summer  while  the  doctor  was  gone.  I  forget 
when  was  the  last  time  I  wrote  you.  I  think,  however,  it  was 
last  spring.  I  came  from  Mr.  Perkins  in  April  and  visited  the 
station  and  went  to  Walla  Walla  in  May  to  avail  myself  of  the 
opportunity  of  a  passage  in  the  brigade  boats  the  first  of  June. 
We  reached  Vancouver  in  five  days,  remained  there  until  the  mid- 
dle of  July  and  then  went  to  the  Willamette  Falls,  where  I  spent 
three  weeks  very  pleasantly  in  the  families  of  Mr.  Abernethy  and 
Mr.  Walters  of  the  Methodist  Mission.  In  August,  the  Company's 
ship  was  about  leaving  in  which  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Lee  of  Waskopum 
was  about  to  depart  in  her;  also  Dr.  Babcock  and  wife  and  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Frost,  all  Methodist  missionaries.  I  went  down  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Columbia  river  to  see  them  depart  and  to  get  a 
view  of  the  Pacific  <">cean.  I  enjoyed  the  voyage  down  and  my 
visit  there  very  much.  The  scenery  of  the  ocean  and  the  bar  was 
new  to  me.  I  also  had  a  visit  with  the  families  of  the  Mission  at 
the  Clatsop  station.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Parrish,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rayj 
mond,  Mr.  and  Mrs.Judson  and  family,  and  Mrs.  Olley  [Olney?] 
had  come  down  for  the  benefit  of  Mrs.  Judson's  health.  Mr.  Leslie 
and  Mr.  Jason  Lee  were  there  also.  I  spent  a  day  or  two  on  board 
ship  with  Mrs.  Lee,  in  whose  society  I  enjoyed  so  much  satisfaction 
while  at  Waskopum.  Visited  the  celebrated  Astoria,  now  Fort 
George,  and  the  day  the  ship  sailed  went  round  Clatsop  Point  to 
the  station  and  spent  nearly  a  week  there  and  enjoyed  some  prec- 
ious religious  privileges  with  the  brethren  and  sisters  there  and  re- 


60  TWENTY-FIRST  ANNUAL   REUNION 

turned  with  Mr.  J.  Lee  and  Mr.  Leslie  to  the  Willamette  Falls,  and 
immediately  proceeded  up  the  river  to  the  upper  Mission  and 
visited  the  families  of  Rev.  Mr.  Hinds,  Mr.  Beers  and  others,  and 
also  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gray,  my  old  associates.  While  there  a  camp- 
meeting  was  held  near  by,  which  I  attended  and  a  precious  season 
it  was  to  my  soul.  To  witness  again  the  anxious  tear  and  hear  the 
deep-felt  inquiry,  "What  must  I  do  to  be  saved?"  as  I  once  used  to, 
filled  me  with  joy  inexpressible.  It  continued  four  days  and  re- 
sulted in  the  conversion  of  almost  all  the  impenitent  on  the 
ground.  From  this  precious  season,  after  a  week  or  two,  we  came 
to  the  Falls  where  a  protracted  meeting  was  held.  While  that 
was  in  progress,  the  news  came  that  my  husband  was  on  his  re- 
turn with  a  hundred  and  forty  wagons  containing  an  immense 
party  of  emigrants,  and  that  probably  he  was  now  at  Waiilatpu. 
This  was  cheering  news,  as  I  had  just  heard  from  the  Islands 
through  Mr.  Hall  that,  iu  recent  news  from  the  States  to  the  Islands 
down  as  late  as  April,  1843,  no  mention  was  made  of  his  arrival. 
This  had  given  me  much  anxiety,  but  it  was  not  long  before  the 
other  intelligence  came.  The  last  week  in  September,  I  left  the 
Falls  for  Vancouver  and  The  Dalles  in  company  with  Mr.  J.  Lee, 
the  Superintendent  of  that  Mission,  and  turned  my  back  upon 
many  dear  friends  in  Christ  with  whom  I  was  permitted  to  form 
an  acquaintance  and  a  Christian  attachment  never  to  be  for- 
gotten. 

Having  been  so  long  secluded,  I  was  well  prepared  to  enjoy 
society  and  1  may  well  say  that  some  of  the  moments  spent  there 
with  Christian  friends  were  among  the  happiest  in  my  life.  We 
made  a  short  stay  at  Vancouver  and  then  proceeded  on  our  way 
up  the  river.  Passing  the  Cascades  and  making  the  portage,  we 
had  continual  rain,  and  before  we  reached  The  Dalles,  I  took  cold 
to  my  great  injury,  as  it  afterwards  proved.  Between  the  Cascades 
and  The  Dalles,  I  received  father's  letter  with  several  others  from 
friends,  also  sisters  Jane,  C.  and  H;  I  am  greatly  obliged  to  them 
for  writing.  Mr.  Lee  waited  at  The  Dalles  until  the  doctor  came. 
It  was  pleasing  to  see  the  pioneers  of  the  two  Missions  meet  and 
hold  counsel  together.   Soon  we  parted  and  I  turned  my  face  with 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  6l 

my  husband  toward  this  dark  spot,  and  dark,  indeed,  it  seemed 
to  be  to  me  when  compared  with  the  scenes,  social  and  religious 
which  I  had  so  recently  been  enjoying  with  so  much  zest. 

When  we  parted  with  Mr.  Lee,  we  little  thought  that  our  first 
news  from  him  would  be,  that  he  had  set  his  face  toward  his  na- 
tive land.  But  it  was,  indeed,  so.  He  has  gone  again  and  I  should 
rejoice  if  dear  father  and  mother  would  see  him.  He  has  shown 
me  great  kindness  during  niy  lonely  state,  and  may  the  Lord 
reward  him  for  it.  He  has  been  deeply  afflicted  in  his  domestic 
relations.  He  has  buried  two  excellent  wives,  and  a  little  son. 
A  little  daughter  of  his  last  wife,  still  survives  to  comfort  and 
cheer  him  in  his  loneliness.  She  has  gone  with  him  to  the  States; 
and  so  has  Rev.  Mr.  Hinds  and  his  wife.  As  they  are  from  the 
region  of  Allegheny  county,  I  hope  father  will  see  them. 

It  must  appear  singular  to  friends  at  home  to  hear  of  the  re- 
turn of  so  many  missionaries  from  Oregon.  So  it  seems  to  us; 
but  we  have  not  the  discouragements  which  our  friends  of  that 
Mission  have.  The  Indians  of  the  Willamette  and  the  coast  are 
diminishing  rapidly;  but  they  have  another  work  put  into  their 
hands.  Settlers  are  coming  into  the  country  like  a  flood  and 
every  one  of  these  need  the  gospel  preached  to  them  as  much  as 
the  heathen.  That  Society  have  been  and  are  doing  a  great  deal 
of  good  in  the  lower  country.  Mr.  Clark  and  Mr.  Griffin,  minis- 
ters of  our  denomination,  are  settled  near  on  the  Tualatin  plains 
and  are  doing  much  good  in  the  way  of  schools  and  preaching.  I 
did  not  visit  them,  although  greatly  urged  to;  on  account  of  my 
health  I  could  not  ride  there,  as  it  was  some  distance  from  the 
river. 

I  was  greatly  disappointed  in  not  seeing  Jane  when  the  doctor 
returned.  I  fancied  he  would  bring  her,  and  so  he  would  have 
done  had  a  family  been  coming  with  whom  it  would  have  been 
prudent  for  her  to  come.  I  still  hope  some  day  to  see  her  here. 
But  I  know  not  how.  This  I  do  know,  that  no  one  of  my  friends 
at  home  know  of  how  much  comfort  she  would  be  to  me  if  she 
was  here. 


62  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL   REUNION 

Sister  Littlejohn  is  a  great  comfort  to  me.  She  acted  the 
part  of  a  sister  to  me  during  my  sickness,  but  I  do  not  always 
expect  to  keep  her.  Mr.  Littlejohn  is  in  poor  health  and  unable 
to  labor.  His  mind  suffers  greatly  from  dejection  and  melan- 
choly, and  he  longs  to  go  back  so  the  States  again. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Spalding  and  two  children  have  been  deeply 
afflicted  the  past  summer,  just  before  the  doctor's  return,  with 
sickness,  especially  Mrs.  S.  She  lay  for  several  days  expecting 
every  moment  would  be  her  last,  and  no  physician  near.  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Littlejohn  was  there  at  that  time,  and  as  soon  as  possi- 
ble Mr.  Geiger,  who  was  at  this  station,  was  sent  for,  also  Mr. 
Walker,  to  preach  her  funeral  sermon — expecting  she  would  die 
before  he  reached  there.  Her  husband  and  children  were  sick  at 
the  same  time  and  all  must  have  perished  had  it  not  been  that 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Littlejohn  were  providentially  there,  having  a  short 
time  before  returned  from  Mr.  Walker's.  God  in  mercy  spared 
them  all  and  restored  them  back  to  health  again.  But  Mrs.  S.  is 
feeble,  and  like  myself,  we  feel  cannot  be  expected  to  live  long. 

Since  my  return  to  the  station,  Mrs.  S.  has  written  me  very 
kindly,  showing  that  her  feelings  have  undergone  a  change  dur- 
ing her  sickness,  while  in  the  near  view  of  death  and  expecting 
every  moment  to  enter  the  dark  valley.  This  is  a  great  consola- 
tion to  us,  and  we  hope  and  believe  that  they  both  feel  different 
toward  us  from  what  they  did,  and  surely  they  have  great  reason 
to,  from   husband's  account    of  his  visit   to  the  rooms  in   Boston. 

I  desire  never  to  pass  through  such  scenes  of  trial  as  I  have 
done,  and  God  grant  that  I  may  never  be  called  to.  We  both  have 
spent  a  happy  winter  in  each  other's  society.  Having  those  un- 
happy difficulties  removed  makes  a  change  in  our  every  day  feel- 
ings. We  are  happier  in  each  other  and  happier  in  God  and  in 
our  work  than  we  could  have  been  while  laboring  under  those  ex- 
citing difficulties — yea!  soul-destroying  difficulties,  I  may  well  say. 

For  more  than  a  year  past  I  have  enjoyed  an  unwonted  quiet 
resting  upon   God  my  Redeemer,  especially  during  my  husband's 


OREGON"    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  63 

absence.  Truly  my  Saviour  was  with  me  in  those  trying  hours, 
and  sustained  me  far  beyond  what  I  deserve.  A  calm,  peaceful 
sense  of  His  abiding  presence  was  what  I  almost  daily  realized. 
Being  free  from  any  distracting  cares  of  my  family  and  the  sta- 
tion, I  had  nothing  else  to  do  but  rest  myself  in  my  Saviour's 
arms;  and  it  would  be  well  for  me  now  if  I  were  to  do  the  same, 
instead  of  attempting  to  shoulder  my  cares,  as  I  often  do — to  cast 
them  on  Him  who  has  said  "  Cast  thy  burdens  upon  the  Lord  and 
He  will  sustain  thee."  I  know  this,  and  believe  it,  too,  for  I  have 
sometimes  realized  it.  But  to  have  the  constant  habit  of  doing  so 
is  what  I  would  gladly  obtain,  and  I  know  I  may  with  diligence 
and  prayerful  watching  thereunto. 

I  see  I  have  almost  exceeded  my  limits,  and  must  think  of 
closing.  Father's  letters  are  choice  gems  to  me,  and  I  hope  he 
will  continue  to  write  as  long  as  I  live.  O!  that  dear  mother 
would  put  some  of  her  thoughts  on  paper  for  the  consolation  of 
my  heart.  She  does  not  know  what  joy  it  would  give  me.  I  am 
a  thousand  times  thankful  for  all  the  favors  I  receive  from  home, 
and  shall  write  to  alias  many  and  as  much  as  my  weak  state  will 
admit. 

Love  to  all,  in  which  husband  unites.  I  am  sorry  he  did  not 
have  time  to  make  a  longer  visit  after  going  so  far.  Farewell, 
dear  father  and  mother,  and  if  I  never  write  again  till  we  meet 
in  heaven, 

Your  ever  affectionate  daughter, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 

Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

N.  Y.,  U.  S.  A. 


64  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 


FROM  DR.  WHITMAN 

WaiilaTpu,  May  16th,  1844. 

My  Dear  Father  and  Mother : — A  little  more  than  a  year  has 
elapsed  since  I  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  you.  The  remembrance 
of  that  visit  will  never  be  effaced  from  my  mind.  I  did  not  mis- 
judge as  to  my  duty  to  return  home;  the  importance  of  my  ac- 
companying the  emigration  on  one  hand  and  the  consequent 
scarcity  of  provisions  on  the  other,  strongly  called  for  my  return, 
and  forbid  my  bringing  another  party  that  year. 

As  I  hold  the  settlement  of  this  country  by  Americans  rather 
than  by  an  English  colony  most  important,  I  am  happy  to  have 
been  the  means  of  landing  so  large  an  emigration  on  to  the  shores 
of  the  Columbia,  with  their  wagons,  families  and  stock,  all  in 
safety. 

The  health  of  Narcissa  was  such  in  my  absence  and  since  my 
return  as  to  call  loudly  for  my  presence.  We  despaired  of  her 
life  at  times  and  for  the  winter  have  not  felt  she  could  live  long. 
But  there  is  more  hope  at  present,  although  nothing  very  decisive 
can  be  said.  While  on  the  way  back,  I  had  an  inflammation  in  my 
foot  which  threatened  to  suppurate,  but  I  discussed  it  and  thought 
nothing  more  of  it  until  I  got  home,  when  I  found  I  had  a  tumor 
on  the  instep.  It  appears  to  be  a  bony  tumor  and  has  given  me 
a  good  deal  of  apprehension  and  inconvenience,  but  is  now  some 
better,  but  not  well. 

It  gives  me  much  pleasure  to  be  back  again  and  quietly  at 
work  again  for  the  Indians.  It  does  not  concern  me  so  much 
what  is  to  become  of  any  particular  set  of  Indians,  as  to  give  them 
the  offer  of  salvation  through  the  gospel  and  the  opportunity  of 
civilization,  and  then  I  am  content  to  do  good  to  all  men  as  "I 
have  opportunity."  I  have  no  doubt  our  greatest  work  is  to  be  to 
aid  the  white  settlement  of  this  country  and  help  to  found  its  re- 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  65 

ligious  institutions.  Providence  has  its  full  share  in  all  these 
events.  Although  the  Indians  have  made  and  are  making  rapid 
advance  in  religious  knowledge  and  civilization,  yet  it  cannot  be 
hoped  that  time  will  be  allowed  to  mature  either  the  work  of 
Christianization  or  civilization  before  the  white  settlers  will  de- 
mand the  soil  and  seek  the  removal  of  both  the  Indians  and  the 
Mission.  What  Americans  desire  of  this  kind  they  always  effect, 
and  it  is  equally  useless  to  oppose  or  desire  it  otherwise.  To  guide, 
as  far  as  can  be  done,  and  direct  these  tendencies  for  the  best,  is 
evidently  the  part  of  wisdom.  Indeed,  I  am  fully  convinced  that 
when  a  people  refuse  or  neglect  to  fill  the  designs  of  Providence, 
they  ought  not  to  complain  at  the  results;  and  so  it  is  equally 
useless  for  Christians  to  be  anxious  on  their  account.  The  Indians 
have  in  no  case  obeyed  the  command  to  multiply  and  replenish 
the  earth,  and  they  cannot  stand  in  the  way  of  others  in  doing  so. 
A  place  will  be  left  them  to  do  this  as  fully  as  their  ability  to 
obey  will  permit,  and  the  more  we  can  do  for  them  the  more  fully 
will  this  be  realized.  No  exclusiveness  can  be  asked  for  any  por- 
tion of  the  human  family.  The  exercise  of  his  rights  are  all 
that  can  be  desired.  In  order  for  this  to  its  proper  extent  in  re- 
gard to  the  Indians,  it  is  necessary  that  they  seek  to  preserve  their 
rights  by  peaceable  means  only.  Any  violation  of  this  rule  will 
be  visited  with  only  evil  results  to  themselves. 

The  Indians  are  anxious  about  the  consequence  of  settlers 
among  them,  but  I  hope  there  will  be  no  acts  of  violence  on  either 
hand.  An  evil  affair  at  the  Falls  of  the  Wallamett,  resulted  in 
the  death  of  two  white  men  killed  and  one  Indian.  But  all  is 
now  quiet.  I  will  try  to  write  to  Brother  Jackson  when  I  will 
treat  of  the  country,  etc. 

It    will    not    surprise  me    to  see  your  whole    family    in    this 

country  in  two  years.     Let  us  hear  from  vou  often.    Narcissa  may 

be  able  to    write  for    herself.     We   wish  to    be  remembered    with 

your  other  children  in  your  prayers. 

Your  affectionate  son, 

Marcus  Whitman. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York. 


66  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

WaiilaTpu,  Oct.  9th,  1844. 

Beloved  and  Honored  Parents:  —  I  have  no  unanswered  letters 
on  hand,  either  from  dear  father  and  mother  or  any  of  the  family, 
yet  I  cannot  refrain  from  writing  every  stated  opportunity.  The 
season  has  arrived  when  the  emigrants  are  beginning  to  pass  us 
on  their  way  to  the  Willamette.  Last  season  there  were  such  a 
multitude  of  starving  people  passed  us  that  quite  drained  us  of 
all  our  provisions,  except  potatoes.  Husband  has  been  endeavor- 
ing this  summer  to  cultivate  so  as  to  be  able  to  impart  without 
so  much  distressing  ourselves.  In  addition  to  this,  he  has  been 
obliged  to  build  a  mill,  and  to  do  it  principally  with  his  own 
hands,  which  has  rendered  it  exceedingly  laborious  for  him.  In 
the  meantime,  I  have  endeavored  to  lighten  his  burden  as  much 
as  possible  in  superintending  the  ingathering  of  the  garden,  etc. 
During  this  period,  the  Indians  belonging  to  this  station  and  the 
Nez  Perces  go  to  Forts  Hall  and  Boise  to  meet  the  emigrants  for 
the  purpose  of  trading  their  wornout  cattle  for  horses.  Last  week 
Tuesday,  several  young  men  arrived,  the  first  of  the  party  that 
brought  us  any  definite  intelligence  concerning  them  (having 
nothing  but  Indian  reports  previous),  among  whom  was  a  youth 
from  Rushville  formerly,  of  the  name  of  Gilbert,  one  of  husband's 
scholars. 

Last  Friday  a  family  of  eight  arrived,  including  the  grand- 
mother, an  aged  woman,  probably  as  old,  or  older  than  my  mother. 
Several  such  persons  have  passed,  both  men  and  women,  and  I 
often  think  when  I  gaze  upon  them,  shall  I  ever  be  permitted  to 
look  upon  the  face  of  my  dear  parents  in  this  land? 

25th — When  I  commenced  this  letter  I  intended  to  write  a 
little  every  day,  so  as  to  give  you  a  picture  of  our  situation  at  this 
time.  But  it  has  been  impossible.  Now  I  must  write  as  briefly 
as  possible  and  send  off  my  letter,  or  lose  the  opportunity.  The 
emigration  is  late  in  getting  into  the  country.  It  is  now  the  last 
of  October  and  they  have  just  begun  to  arrive  with  their  wagons. 
The  Blue  mountains  are  covered  with  snow,  and  many  families,  if 
not  half  of  the  party,  are  back  in  or  beyond  the  mountains,  and 
what  is  still    worse,  destitute  of  provisions    and  some  of   them   of 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  67 

clothing.  Many  are  sick,  several  with  children  born  on  the  way. 
One  family  arrived  here  night  before  last,  and  the  next  morn  a 
child  was  born;  another  is  expected  in  the  same  condition. 

Here  we  are,  one  family  alone,  a  way  mark,  as  it  were,  or 
center  post,  about  which  multitudes  will  or  must  gather  this 
winter.  And  these  we  must  feed  and  warm  to  the  extent  of  our 
powers.  Blessed  be  God  that  He  has  given  us  so  abundantly  of 
the  fruit  of  the  earth  that  we  may  impart  to  those  who  are  thus 
famishing.  Two  preachers  with  large  families  are  here  and  wish 
to  stay  for  the  winter,  both  Methodist.  With  all  this  upon  our 
hands,  besides  our  duties  and  labors  for  the  Indians,  can  any  one 
think  we  lack  employment  or  have  any  time  to  be  idle? 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Littlejohn  left  us  in  September  and  have  gone 
below  to  settle  in  the  Willamette.  We  have  been  looking  for 
associates  this  fall,  but  the  Board  could  get  none  ready,  but  say, 
they  will  send  next  year.  Am  I  ever  to  see  any  of  my  family 
among  the  tide  of  emigration  that  is  flowing  west? 

Our  mill  is  finished  and  grinds  well.  It  is  a  mill  out  of  doors 
or  without  a  house;  that  we  must  build  next  year. 

We  have  employed  a  young  man  of  the  party  to  teach  school, 
so  that  we  hope  to  hav«  both  an  English  school  and  one  for  the 
natives.  My  health  has  been  improving  remarkably  through  the 
summer,  and  one  great  means  has  been  daily  bathing  in  the  river. 
I  was  very  miserable  one  year  ago  now,  and  was  brought  very  low 
and  poor;  now  I  am  better  than  I  have  been  for  some  time,  and 
quite  fleshy  for  me.  I  weigh  one  hundred  and  sixty-seven  pounds; 
much  higher  than  ever  before  in  my  life.  This  will  make  the 
girls  laugh,  I  know.  Mrs.  Spalding's  health  is  better  than  last 
year.     She  expects  an  increase  in  her  family  soon. 

This  country  is  destined  to  be  filled,  and  we  desire  greatly  to 
have  good  people  come,  and  ministers  and  Christians,  that  it  may 
be  saved  from  being  a  sink  of  wickedness  and  prostitution.  We 
need  many  houses  to  accommodate  the  families  that  will  be  obliged 
to  winter  here.     All  the  house  room  that  we  have  to  spare  is  filled 


68  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

already.  It  is  expected  that  there  are  more  than  five  hundred 
souls  back  in  the  snow  and  mountains.  Among  the  number  is 
an  orphan  family  of  seven  children,  the  youngest  an  infant  born 
on  the  way,  whose  parents  have  both  died  since  they  left  the 
States.  Application  has  been  made  for  us  to  take  them,  as  they 
have  not  a  relative  in  the  company.  What  we  shall  do  I  cannot 
say;  we  cannot  see  them  suffer,  if  the  Lord  casts  them  upon  us. 
He  will  give  ns  His   grace  and  strength  to    do  our  duty    to  them. 

I  cannot  write  any  more,  I  am  so  thronged  and  employed 
that  I  feel  sometimes  like  being  crazy,  and  my  poor  husband,  if 
he  had  a  hundred  strings  tied  to  him  pulling  in  every  direction, 
could  not  be  any  worse  off. 

Dear  parents,  do  pray  earnestly  for  your  children  here,  for 
their  situation  is  one  of  great  trial,  as  well  as  of  responsibility. 

Love  from  us  both  to  you  all.  I  am  disappointed  in  not 
getting  letters  from  some  of  the  dear  ones  this  fall,  but  so  it 
must  be  and  I  submit. 

Your  affectionate  daughter, 

Narcissa. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York. 


WAiitATPU,  April  8th,  1845. 

My  Dear  Father: — It  gives  me  pleasure  to  write  you  at  this 
time,  as  I  know  you  will  be  anxious  to  hear  how  we  prosper.  The 
health  of  Narcissa  is  very  much  improved  from  what  it  was  when 
I  came  home  and  the  winter  following,  yet  it  is  not  good,  nor  is 
it  likely  to  be  again.  She  is,  however,  able  to  take  the  charge  of 
the  family,  and  to  perform  much  important  labor.  Our  family 
had  the  important  addition  of  an  orphan  family  of  seven  chil- 
dren whose  parents  both  died  on  the  road  to  this  country.  The  two 
oldest   are  boys,  the  oldest   is  fourteen,  and  the  rest  are  girls;  the 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  69 

youngest  was  only  five  months  when  she  came  here.  It  did  not 
seem  likely  the  little  one  could  have  lived  many  days  more,  but 
she  is  now  strong  and  healthy,  as  are  all  the  rest. 

I  have  thought  much  for  the  last  winter  that  I  should  be 
glad  if  you  were  in  this  country.  The  immigrants  are  benefiting 
themselves  much  by  coming  here,  as  they  take  each  a  mile  square 
of  land  and  will  hold  it,  as  they  make  such  regulations  among 
themselves,  in  accordance  with  the  bill  of  Mr.  Linn,  formerly  in 
the  Senate  of  the  U.  S. 

No  country  now  open  to  settlers  presents  such  a  field  for  en- 
terprise, as  this  near  vicinity  to  the  Pacific  ocean  offers  large 
promise  of  commercial  advantage.  The  salubrity  of  the  climate 
is  such  here  that  I  am  every  year  only  the  more  and  more  admir- 
ing it.  Flowers  have  been  in  blossom  in  this  valley  this  year 
since  the  middle  of  January,  and  the  grass  is  as  fine  for  the  whole 
winter  as  in  almost  any  other  country  in  June. 

I  have  had  much  to  do  with  supplying  immigrants  for  the 
last  two  years. 

My  mill  was  burnt  soon  after  I  left  for  the  States,  but  I  have 
rebuilt  it,  and  have  a  saw-mill  in  a  state  of  forwardness,  which  I 
hope  to  start  soon  after  planting.  It  is  about  twenty  miles  from 
the  house  and  situated  in  the  Blue  mountains.  It  is  necessary  to 
have  a  saw-mill, as  we  are  in  want  of  conveniences,  and  our  houses 
are  to  be  roofed  anew,  as  we  have  only  dirt  roofs  at  present,  and 
besides  we  have  no  house  over  our  flour-mill,  and  we  need  store- 
houses. 

We  must  also  use  a  saw-mill  for  fencing,  as  timber  is  so  scarce 
except  in  the  mountains.  The  Indians  are  doing  more  this  year 
at  farming  than  before  and  fencing  much  better — a  thing  much 
needed,  for  most  of  them  are  now  getting  more  or  less  cows  and 
other  cattle.  I  have  killed  nineteen  beeves,  of  course  mostly  to 
supply  immigrants.  The  last  was  but  two  years  old  when  killed 
the  10th  of  March  and  weighed  six-hundred,  and  the  tallow,  after 
one  hind  quarter  was  sold,  weighed  65  lbs.     This  will  show  a  spec- 


70  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

imen  of  my  stock,  as  we  never  feed  either  to  raise  or  fatten,  and  he 
was  only  an  ordinary  animal.  I  have  four  two  year  old  heifers  (this 
spring  only)  which  have  each  better  yearlings  sucking  them,  prob- 
ably than  any  that  can  be  shown  in  the  state  of  New  York,  except 
they  have  had  more  than  one  cow's  milk. 

We  have  above  eighty  sheep,  a  large  part  ewes,  as  we  kill  the 
wethers — besides  all  that  have  been  killed  by  dogs,  wolves,  etc., 
and  besides  a  good  many  furnished  the  Indians.  All  these  came 
from  one  ewe  brought  from  the  Sandwich  Islands  in  '38  and  two 
more  brought  in  '39.  We  shall  have  more  than  a  hundred  when 
the  spring  lambs  have  come. 

Let  us  hear  from  you,  and  if  any  of  you  think   to  come   here. 

I  have  had  many  a  rebuke  by  Narcissa,  because  I  did  not 
bring  Jane  with  me  when  I  came  back.  Edward  might  do  well 
in  this  country,  and  we  shall  be  glad  to  see  him  when  his  educa- 
tion is  completed,  if  he  is  to  complete  it;  but  if  not,  still  let  him 
come,  but  only  with  a  wife.  You  can  come  in  wagons  all  the  way, 
but  bring  nothing  but  provisions  and  necessary  clothing — nothing. 
Accept  our  love  for  you  all.     And  believe  us. 

Your  affectionate  children, 

Marcus  Whitman. 


My  Dear  Parents: — I  have  now  a  family  of  eleven  children. 
This  makes  me  feel  as  if  I  could  not  write  a  letter,  not  even  to  my 
dearest  friends,  much  as  I  desire  to.  I  get  along  very  well  with 
them;  they  have  been  to  school  most  of  the  time;  we  have  had  an 
excellent  teacher,  a  young  man  from  New  York.  He  became 
hopefully  converted  soon  after  entering  our  family,  and  mother,  I 
wish  you  could  see  me  now  in  the  midst  of  such  a  group  of  little 
ones;  there  are  two  girls  of  nine  years,  one  of  seven,  a  girl  and  boy 
of  six,  another  girl  of  five,  another  of  three  and  the  baby,  she  is 
now  ten  months.  I  often  think  of  mother  when  she  had  the  care 
of  Henry  Martin  Curtis. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  7 1 

It  would  make  me  indescribably  happy  to  have  father  and 
mother  and  some  of  the  children  come  to  Oregon;  but  it  is  such  a 
journey  I  fear  mother  would  be  sorry  she  undertook  it,  if  she  should 
conclude  to  come,  but  if  once  here  I  think  there  would  be  no  cause 
of  regret.  Families  can  come  quite  comfortable  and  easy  in  wag- 
ons all  the  way.  But  why  should  I  wish  thus?  It  cannot  be  pos- 
sible that  I  shall  see  my  beloved  parents  again — is  it?-  -until  I  meet 
them  in  heaven.  The  Lord  only  knows;  I  will  leave  it  with  Him 
to  direct  all  these  things.  We  have  had  some  serious  trials  this 
spring  with  the  Indians.  Two  important  Indians  have  died  and 
they  have  ventured  to  say  and  intimate  that  the  doctor  has  killed 
them  by  his  magical  power,  in  the  same  way  they  accuse  their 
own  sorcerers  and  kill  them  for  it.  Also  an  important  young  man 
has  been  killed  in  California  by  Americans;  he  was  the  son  of  the 
Walla  Walla  chief  and  went  there  to  get  cattle,  with  a  few  others. 
This  has  produced  much  excitement  also.  We  are  in  the  midst  of 
excitement  and  prejudice  on  all  sides,  both  from  Indians  and 
passing  immigrants,  but  the  Lord  has  preserved  us  hitherto  and 
will  continue  to,  if  we  trust  Him.    Love  to  all,  as  ever  and  forever. 

Your  affectionate  daughter, 

Narcissa. 

Miss  Jane  A.  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  New  York. 


Waiilatpu,  April  9th,  1846. 

My  Dear  Mother: — It  is  now  ten  years  since  I  left  the  paternal 
roof  of  my  home  east  of  the  Rocky  mountains,  and  how  much 
have  I  been  thinking  of  the  scenes  that  transpired  at  that  time, 
and  of  the  dear,  dear  friends,  I  have  left  behind.  My  father,  my 
mother,  venerable  friends — shall  I  ever  behold  your  faces  again  in 
the  flesh?  O,  how  I  long  to  see  you,  yet  I  dare  not  indulge  the 
thought  lest  I  should  be  found  to  murmur.  If  it  would  give  such 
joy  and  satisfaction  to  meet  again  in  this  world,  to  interchange 
thoughts  and   feelings,  what  will  it   be  to  meet  above,  when  we 


72  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

shall  be  free  from  sin  and  sorrow,  in  the  immediate  presence  of 
our  Saviour  to  adore  and  wonder  together  and  praise  God  and  the 
Lamb  before  the  throne.  My  thoughts  have  been  very  much  in 
heaven,  on  heavenly  subjects  for  two  or  three  months  past,  hav- 
ing been  permitted  to  accompany  a  fellow  traveler  down  to  the 
gates  of  death  and  to  see  him  pass  the  dark  waters  triumphantly 
and  enter  joyfully  the  New  Jerusalem  above.  O,  what  a  glorious 
sight,  and  I  may  say  that  reluctantly  I  turned  away,  mourning 
that  I  was  not  permitted  to  follow  him  in  reality  as  with  an  eye 
of  faith.  The  individual  I  refer  to,  was  not  a  relative,  or  I  could 
not  have  stood  and  looked  on  with  such  composure  and  quietness, 
he  was  a  young  man  nearly  thirty- two  years  of  age;  far  gone  in 
the  consumption  when  he  arrived  here  last  fall,  as  one  of  last  im- 
migration— Joseph  S.  Findly,  from  Illinois,  and  without  friends 
and  money,  left  here  to  die  among  strangers.  His  brother  went 
on  past  to  the  Willamette,  and  he  stopped  here  because  it  was 
more  unfavorable  for  an  invalid  there  in  the  winter  time  then 
here.  We  had  assistance,  however,  in  taking  care  of  him  until  the 
last  month  of  his  life,  when  the  sole  care  devolved  on  me  and  tho 
children;  my  health  very  poor  all  the  time.  You  can  see, beloved 
parents,  what  my  work  was,  when  I  tell  you  that  when  he  came 
here,  he  was  without  a  Saviour.  This  gave  deep  anxiety  of  mind 
and  earnest  prayers,  until  the  Lord  was  pleased  to  bring  him  to 
himself,  but  the  evidence  was  not  always  so  clear  as  to  feel  very  con- 
fident in  his  case,  so  that,  during  the  whole  time,  I  felt  a  tender 
anxious  watchfulness  for  him,  which  led  me  to  be  constantly 
seeking  an  opportunity  of  nourishing  and  cherishing  him  as  I 
would  a  little  child.  Blessed  be  the  Lord,  he  did  not  suffer  me  to 
labor  in  vain,  but  from  time  to  time  gave  me  evidence  to  believe 
that  the  good  which  he  had  begun,  was  progressing.  Along  in  Feb- 
ruary he  manifested  a  desire  to  unite  with  the  church.  An  oppor- 
tunity was  presented. 

Mr.  Spalding  and  family  visited  us  the  last  of  February,  and 
on  the  26th,  he  with  Mr.  Rogers,  another  young  man  that  had 
been  employed  as  teacher  of  our  children,  offered  themselves  and 
were  received   most  joyfully   into  our  little  church   here  in  the 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  73 

wilderness.  He  was  unable  to  sit  up,  consequently  we  were  gath- 
ered around  his  sick  and  dying  bed,  to  commemorate  with  him 
for  the  first  and  last  time  the  dying  love  of  our  blessed  Redeemer 
before  he  left  us  to  join  the  church  triumphant  above.  From  this 
time  on  his  evidence  of  an  acceptance  grew  brighter  and  stronger, 
yet  it  never  exceeded  a  calm  and  steady  trusting  in  the  Saviour, 
sometimes  doubting  almost  that  such  a  sinner  could  be  saved. 
I  never  could  discover  anything  like  ecstasy,  joy,  or  rejoicing  at 
any  time  in  his  state  of  mind.  He  never  had  received  very  much 
religious  instruction  in  his  youth,  his  mother  having  died  when 
he  was  quite  young. 

Many,  very  many,  precious  seasons  I  have  spent  with  him, 
reading,  conversing,  and  praying  with  him,  and  I  have  been  very 
much  refreshed  myself  in  doing  it.  Although  I  had  more  work 
and  care  on  my  hands  than  I  could  do,  without  him,  in  the  care 
of  my  eleven  children,  yet  I  felt  that  it  was  work  that  the  Lord 
put  in  my  hands  and  He  would  and  did  give  me  strength  to 
do  it.  He  died  on  Saturday,  28th  of  March,  few  minutes  past  one, 
He  was  more  than  two  hours  dying.  Mr.  Spalding  was  provi- 
dentially present  at  the  time  of  his  death.  When  I  discovered  a 
change  had  taken  place  in  his  breathing,  I  went  to  him  and 
told  him  that  I  thought  Jesus  was  about  to  take  him  away, 
and  asked  him  if  he  did  not  rejoice?  He  said  he  did,  if  he 
knew  what  rejoicing  was.  Soon  he  said,  "  Lord,  help  me  now," 
and  then  asked  Mr.  Spalding  and  myself  if  we  thought  he  was 
smothering,  meaning  that  he  was  distressed  to  get  his  breath;  we 
told  him  we  thought  he  was  dying,  and  asked  if  he  did  not  wish 
Mr.  Spalding  to  pray?  He  said,  "Yes;"  and  we  united  in  fervent 
prayer  that  the  Lord  would  not  forsake  him  now  in  this  trying 
hour,  and  commended  his  departing  spirit  into  the  hands  of  his 
Saviour. 

The  family  were  called  in.  I  asked  him  if  he  felt  the  Sav- 
iour present  with  him  now?  He  said  deliberately,  "I  think  He 
is."  Occasionally  ejaculations  "like  these  would  be  heard  from 
him  as  we  stood  watching  around  him,  "Lord,  help  me  now;  Thy 
will  be  done."     After  a  little  he  looked  up  and  around  and  said, 


74  OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

"Farewell  to  this  world;"  then,  some  moments  after,  "Father, 
Thy  will  be  done."  Afterwards  he  reached  his  hand  to  husband 
and  I,  with  a  look  of  gratitude  and  thankfulness  for  the  kindness 
he  had  received  from  us.  Soon  after  Mr.  Spalding  asked  him  if 
the  Saviour  was  with  him?  After  a  moment  he  said,  "  I  think  so." 
Shortly  after  he  ejaculated,  "Jesus,  save  me."  Mr.  Rogers  stood 
by  him  holding  his  hand.  In  a  few  minutes  he  looked  at  us 
with  inexpressible  sweetness  depicted  in  his  countenance,  and 
said,  "Sweet  Jesus!  sweet  Jesus!  sweet  Jesus!"  as  if  anxious  that 
we  should  receive  the  evidence  of  his  Saviour's  presence  with  him 
and  the  token  he  had  just  received  from  Him.  It  was  like  a  ray 
of  glory  bursting  through  him  upon  our  minds.  It  completely 
melted  us  all.  From  this  time  on  he  lay  breathing  still  more 
and  more  laborious,  and  he  desired  us  to  try  and  turn  him  to  see 
if  he  could  not  find  relief;  but  the  change  of  position  made  it  still 
more  difficult,  and  he  wished  to  lie  back  again  as  he  was  before, 
exclaiming,  "  Sweet  Jesus!  sweet  Jesus!"  as  if  the  Saviour  had 
again  given  him  another  taste  of  His  sweetness,  and  assurance 
that  rest  or  ease  was  not  for  him  in  this  world.  After  this  the 
occasional  uttering  of  these  words,  "  Sweet  Jesus!"  led  us  to  think 
that  his  communion  was  more  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  heav- 
enly world  [than  with  us,  although  he  was  most  perfectly  con- 
scious of  every  thing  that  passed  up  to  the  last  moment.  A  little 
after  one  o'clock  he  uttered  "Sweet  Jesus!"  sweet  Redeemer!" 
and  then  "  Farewell,  farewell,  farewell!"  and,  indistinctly,  "  I  am 
going!"  and  thus  expired,  sweetly  yielding  up  his  spirit  into  the 
hands  of  his  Redeemer. 

This  was  new  and  unexpected  to  Mr.  Spalding  and  Mr.  Rog- 
ers, they  having  never  seen  the  like  before.  As  for  me,  I  had  been 
asking  that  the  Lord  might  be  glorified  in  his  death,  and  thus  we 
were  left  without  a  doubt  that  our  brother,  on  whom  we  had  be- 
stowed so  much  anxious  care,  had  gone  to  be  forever  with  the 
Lord;  feeling,  too,  that  we  had  been  more  than  amply  rewarded 
for  the  labor  bestowed  upon  him.  He  was  always  so  grateful  for 
the  attention  shown  him,  particularly  for  the  instruction  and  re- 
ligious help  he  received — said  if  he   had  ever   in  his  life  had  such 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  75 

instruction,  he  would  never  have  lived  so  far  from  the  Saviour  as 
he  had  done.  He  felt  that  I  had  been  a  mother  to  him,  for  he 
never  received  such  attention  before  from  any  one,  and  he  said  it 
weeping.  But  it  was  all  of  the  Lord  to  dispose  my  heart  in  kind- 
ness toward  him  when  I  am  always  so  weak  and  burdened  with 
cares.  "I  was  a  stranger,  and  ye  took  me  in;  sick,  and  ye  minis- 
tered unto  me" — these  and  similar  passages  all  the  way  through 
were  my  support;  and  I  pray  God  I  may  always  be  in  a  frame  of 
mind  to  apply  this  scripture,  "  Be  not  forgetful  to  entertain 
strangers,  for  thereby  some  have  entertained  angels  unawares." 


April  10th,  1846. 

My  Dear  Father: — I  have  received  no  letters  from  father, 
mother  or  any  the  sisters  or  brothers  in  Allegheny  county  since 
husband  returned.  I  wonder  why,  sometimes,  and  feel  a  little 
like  complaining.  Nothing  I  receive  from  the  United  States 
gives  me  so  much  comfort  as  letters  from  my  dear  parents.  I  am 
sure  those  sisters  and  brothers  might  write  oftener  if  they  would 
think  so.  It  ina}-  be  that  you  are  feeling  as  if  I  had  not  been  as 
faithful  lately  as  formerly;  true,  I  have  not,  but  it  is  not  for  the 
want  of  a  disposition.  The  greatest  reason  is  want  nf  health,  then 
the  care  of  a  large  family  of  eleven  children,  aside  from  our  com- 
plicated duties  to  the  Indians.  Think  of  our  being  the  sole  in- 
structors spiritually  and  mentally  of  so  many  children,  except 
during  the  winter,  we  hire  a  teacher;  otherwise  all  these  mental 
and  physical  instructions  devolves  upon  us,  and  no  responsibility 
is  greater  than  the  care  of  so  many  immortal  souls  to  train  up  for 
God,  and  we  must  be  the  ministers,  Sabbath  school  teachers,  par- 
ents and  all  to  our  children.  I  am  sometimes  about  ready  to  sink 
under  the  weight  of  responsibility  resting  upon  me,  and  should, 
were  it  not  that  an  Almighty  hand  sustains  me.  Bringing  up  a 
family  of  children  in  a  heathen  land,  where  every  influence  tends 
to  degrade  rather  than  elevate,  requires  no  small  measure  of  faith 
and  patience,  as  well  as  great  care  and  prayerful  watchfulness. 
Under  such    circumstances,  how    comforting    could    I  call  in    the 


76  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL  REUNION 

superior  wisdom  and  experience  of  my  beloved  parents  to  aid  us 
in  times  of  emergency.  As  a  substitute  for  this,  however,  and  for 
it  I  desire  to  be  thankful,  the  influence  of  the  impressions  made 
upon  my  young  mind  by  those  beloved  ones  are  now  being  called 
forth  and  acting  upon  other  minds  to  a  degree  that  astonishes  me 
many  times,  and  I  may  say  that  almost  always  those  impres- 
sions are  of  such  a  nature,  that  if  faithfully  carried  out,  would 
greatly  tend  to  promote  the  honor  and  glory  of  God.  Children 
of  such  parents  have  much,  very  much,  to  praise  God  for,  and  if  it 
should  be  found  at  last  that  any  of  them  have  not  borne  fruit  to 
His  Name's  glory,  how  great  will  be  their  condemnation. 

There  has  been  considerable  evidence  of  the  movings  of  the 
Holy  Spirit  upon  the  minds  of  the  children  since  the  first  of  Jan- 
uary, as  well  as  upon  some  that  wintered  here.  For  ourselves,  we 
feel  that  our  own  souls  have  been  greatly  revived,  and  I  hope  and 
pray  that  we  may  never  again  relapse  into  such  a  state  of  insensi- 
bility and  worldly-mindedness  as  we  many  times  have  found  our- 
selves in.  This  may  seem  strange  to  my  dear  father,  that  mission- 
aries should  ever  become  worldly-minded;  and  it  should  be  strange, 
for  it  never  ought  to  be;  but  situated  as  we  are,  with  every  thing 
of  a  temporal  nature  to  see  to,  in  supplying  our  own  family 
with  food  and  clothing,  to  try  and  save  expenses  to  the  churches, 
and  also  to  relieve  as  much  as  possible  a  starving  immigration  as 
they  pass,  together  with  the  temporal  and  spiritual  calls  of  the  In- 
dians— what  time  is  there  left  for  the  care  of  one's  own  heart? 
If  there  is  any,  it  may  all  be  required  to  restore  our  over-exhaust- 
ed natures,  which  often  groan  under  their  burden  and  will  sooner 
or  later  tumble  and  fall  down.  I  would  not  plead  any  excuse;  if 
there  is  fault  any  where  it  is  in  undertaking  to  accomplish  too 
much  of  a  worldly  nature.  When  I  say  this,  a  thought  comes  in: 
Where  shall  we  draw  the  line?  As  it  is,  we  but  just  make  the  ends 
meet,  and  sometimes  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  too.  Much,  very 
much,  is  left  undone  that  might  be  done  to  make  us  more  com- 
fortable and  save  labor.     Thus  we  struggle  on  from  year   to  year. 

How   cheering  under  such    circumstances,  when  the  heart    is 
weighed  to  the  earth  with  a  burden   too  heavy  for  mortal  man   to 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  77 

sustain,  to  have  an  aged  Christian,  a  minister  whose  heart  is  al- 
ways glowing  with  love  to  God  and  for  the  souls  of  men,  call  in,  sit 
and  converse  awhile  and  draw  the  mind  to  heavenly  things  and 
sympathize  and  pray  with  us.  To  me  it  would  seem  to  fill  my 
soul  with  such  ecstacy  that  I  should  want  nothing  more.  It 
would  be  a  heaven  on  earth.  Perhaps,  dear  father  will  say  that  I 
can  draw  a  richer  draught  from  the  fountain  head,  Jesus,  oftener 
and  easier  than  that.  True,  I  may;  but  that  requires  effort  and 
energy  of  mind  more  than  I  at  all  times  possess,  laboring  as  I  am 
under  the  infirmity  of  a  debilitated  nervous  system.  But  why 
should  I  be  indulged  in  such  a  melancholy  strain?  Can  it  be  that 
I  wish  to  excuse  myself  for  negligence  on  my  part?  This,  I  con- 
fess, is  too  often  a  fault;  for  if  it  were  otherwise,  I  should  not  be 
mourning  for  my  beloved  Jesus  as  I  often  find  myself  now,  not- 
withstanding His  permitting  me  to  speak  of  His  faithfulness  and 
of  His  tender  care  and  love  for  me,  unworthy  as  I  am.  He  gives 
me  now  and  then  streams  from  which  to  gather  refreshing  sweet- 
ness. But  the  fountain  head  oftener  pours  its  healing  waters  into 
my  weary,  sin-sick  soul.  Instead  of  complaining  that  I  enjoy  so 
little,  rather  let  me  rejoice  that  my  mercies  and  spiritual  com- 
fort and  enjoyments  are  so  many  and  great. 

If  my  dear  father  and  mother  were  here,  I  think  they  would 
be  very  well  contented,  for  we  could  give  them  a  very  comfortable 
home  and  enough  to  eat  and  do,  and  if  the  distance  were  not  so 
great,  I  should  hope  the)-  would  come  and  finish  their  days  with 
us.  But  it  is  a  dreadful  journey  to  perform  to  get  here,  and  I 
ought  not  to  ask  such  a  sacrifice  of  them  for  my  own  comfort, 
merely;  but  if  there  could  be  a  design  worthy  of  the  sacrifice  and 
fatigue  to  such  elderly  people,  I  should  ask  it  with  all  my  heart, 
if  there  was  a  willing  mind.  I  know  tather  once  used  to  think 
he  should  come  to  Oregon;  but  if  I  recollect  right  he  wrote  me 
that  he  had  given  it  up.  It  is  not  so  difficult  to  get  here  now  as 
when  I  came,  for  families  come  in  wagons  all  the  way.  The  fa- 
tigue is  great,  however,  and  the  dust  from  Fort  Hall  here  is  very 
afflicting;  aside  from  that,  with  food  enough  and  teams  enough, 
no  loading  except  necessary  clothing,  it  would  not   be  difficult. 


78  *r\VENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

Father,  if  you  would  send  word  from  Fort  Hall  we  could  send 
and  meet  you  and  assist  you  on.  But  the  greatest  affliction  would 
be  to  the  pious  soul — it  is  so  continually  vexed  with  the  ungodly  con- 
versation and  profanity  of  the  wicked,  and  is  so  often  brought 
into  straitened  circumstances  with  regard  to  his  own  duty  in 
obeying  the  commands  of  God,  such  as  keeping  the  Sabbath,  etc., 
that  he  often  is  wounded  to  that  degree  that  it  requires  many 
months,  if  not  years,  before  he  is  restored  to  his  wonted  health 
again.  To  be  in  a  country  among  a  people  of  no  law,  even  if  they 
are  from  a  civilized  land,  is  the  nearest  like  a  hell  on  earth  of 
anything  I  can  imagine.  I  do  not  say  that  the  journey  cannot  be 
performed  and  the  Christian  enjoy  his  peace  of  mind  and  contin- 
ued communion  witb  God  all  the  way.  But  this  I  know,  that  the 
experience  of  all  proves  it  to  be  exceedingly  difficult,  if  not  impos- 
sible. It  is  often  said  that  every  Christian  gets  so  that  he  can 
swear  before  the  journey  is  completed.  One  thing  has  been  true 
of  almost  every  party  that  have  crossed  the  mountains;  Christians 
are  not  warned  of  their  danger  before  starting,  and  are  conse- 
quently off  their  guard.  If  I  had  to  ever  again,  I  should  try  and 
pray  more,  both  in  secret,  family  and  social  meetings,  but  above 
all  in  secret,  for  if  faithful  there  the  soul  is  kept  alive  and  in  health, 
Generally  speaking,  every  religious  duty  has  been  neglected  and 
probably  none  more  so  than  reading  the  3ible,  consequently  dearth 
prevails  over  the  whole  mind. 

If  I  am  not  permitted  to  see  my  dear  parents  here,  I  hope  I 
shall  hear  from  them  often.  I  love  to  have  them  both  write;  when 
they  receive  this,  they  will  know  how  to  pray  for  us,  and  will  I 
trust  most  fervently. 

From  your  most  affectionate  child, 

Narcissa. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  79 


Waiii.aTpu,  April  13th,  1846. 

My  Dear  Harriet: — 1  believe  I  have  not  written  you  since  the 
Lord  brought  this  orphan  family  under  our  care.  How  could  I, 
for  I  have  been  so  unwell  and  had  this  increase  of  care  upon  my 
mind,  that  I  have  written  to  no  one  in  the  States,  as  I  recollect. 
I  find  the  labor  greater  in  doing  for  so  many,  especially  in  in- 
structing them — where  they  come  in  all  at  once — than  if  they 
had  come  along  by  degrees  and  had  received  a  start  in  their  edu- 
cation, one  before  the  other;  whereas  all  their  minds  appear  to  be 
alike  uninstructed,  especially  in   the  great  truths  of  Christianity. 

I  would  like  to  know  how  you  and  Clarissa  get  along  in  un- 
folding the  minds  of  your  little  ones.  I  hope  you  both  feel  that 
the  immortal  part  is  of  the  greatest  moment  in  all  your  strivings 
for  them,  and  to  educate  the  physical  in  such  a  way  as  to  give  the 
immortal  part  the   utmost  vigor   and  energy   possible. 

I  used  to  think  mother  was  the  best  hand  to  take  care  of  babies 
I  ever  saw.but  I  believe,  or  we  have  the  vanity  to  think,  we  have 
improved  upon  her  plan.  That  you  may  see  how  we  manage  with 
our  children,  I  will  give  you  a  specimen  of  our  habits  with  them 
and  we  feel  them  important,  too,  especially  that  they  may  grow 
up  healthy  and  strong.  Take  my  baby,  as  an  example:  in  Octo- 
ber, 1844,  she  arrived  here  in  the  hands  of  an  old  filthy  woman, 
sick,  emaciated  and  but  just  alive.  She  was  born  some  where  on 
the  Platte  river  in  the  first  part  of  the  journey,  on  the  last  da}'  of 
May.  Her  mother  died  on  the  25th  of  September.  She  was  five 
months  old  when  she  was  brought  here — had  suffered  for  the  want 
of  proper  nourishment  until  she  was  nearly  starved.  The  old 
woman  did  the  best  she  could,  but  she  was  in  distressed  circum- 
stances herself,  and  a  wicked,  disobedient  family  around  her  to 
see  to. 

Husband  thought  we  could  get  along  with  all  but  the  baby — 
he  did  not  see  how  we  could  take  that;  but  I  felt  that  if  I  must 
take  any,  I  wanted  her  as  a  charm  to  bind  the  rest  to  me.     So  we 


80  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

took  her,  a  poor,  distressed  little  object,  not  larger  than  a  babe 
three  weeks  old.  Had  she  been  taken  past  at  this  late  season, 
death  would  have  been  her  portion,  and  that  in  a  few  days.  The 
first  thing  I  did  for  her  was  to  give  her  some  milk  and  put  her  in 
the  cradle.  She  drank  a  gill,  she  was  so  hungry,  but  soon  cleared 
herself  of  it  by  vomiting  and  purging.  I  next  had  a  pail  of  warm 
water  and  put  her  in  it,  gave  her  a  thorough  cleansing  with  soap 
and  water,  and  put  on  some  clean  clothes; — put  her  in  the  cradle 
and  she  had  a  fine  nap.  This  I  followed  every  day,  washing  her 
thoroughly  in  tepid    water,  about  the  middle  of  the  forenoon. 

She  soon  began  to  mend,  but  I  was  obliged  to  reduce  her  milk 
with  a  little  water,  as  her  stomach  was  so  weak  she  could  not 
bear  it  in  its  full  strength. 

Now  I  suppose  you  think  such  a  child  would  be  very  trouble- 
some nights,  but  it  was  not  so  with  her;  we  put  her  in  the  cradle 
and  she  slept  until  morning  without  waking  us  more  than  once, 
and  that  only  for  a  few  of  the  first  nights.  Her  habits  of  eating 
and  sleeping  were  as  regular  as  clock-work.  She  had  a  little  gill 
cup  which  we  fed  her  in;  she  would  take  that  full  every  meal,  and 
when  done  would  want  no  more  for  a  long  time.  Thus  I  contin- 
ued, giving  her  nothing  else  but  milk,  she  only  required  the  more 
until  her  measure  became  half  a  pint.  In  consequence  of  the 
derangement  of  her  digestive  powers,  which  did  not  recover  their 
healthy  tone,  she  had  a  day  of  sickness  some  time  in  Dec.  when 
we  gave  her  a  little  oil  and  calomel;  this  restored  her  completely, 
and  since  that  time,  and  even  before,  she  has  nothing  to  do  but  to 
grow,  and  that  as  fast  as  possible;  she  is  as  large  or  larger  than  her 
next  older  sister  Louisa  was  when  she  came  here,  thennearly  three 
years  old.  She  now  lacks  a  month  and  a  half  of  being  two  years 
old.  She  is  strong,  healthy,  fleshy,  heavy,  runs  any  where  she  is 
permitted,  talks  everything  nearly,  is  full  of  mischief  if  I  am  out 
of  the  room.  She  is  energetic  and  active  enough, and  has  a  dis- 
position to  have  her  own  way,  especially  with  the  children,  if  she 
is  not  prevented. 

She  contended  sharply  for  the  mastery  with  her  mother  before 
she  was  a  year  old,  but  she,  of  course,  had  to  submit.     Since  then 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  8 1 

she  has  been  very  obedient,  but  frequently  tries  the  point  to  see 
if  her  parents  are  steadfast  and  uniform  in  their  requirements  or 
not.  She  will  obey  very  well  in  sight,  but  loves  to  get  out  of 
sight  for  the  purpose  of  doing  as  she  pleases.  She  sings  a  little, 
but  not  nearly  as  much  as  Alice  C.  did  when  she  was  of  her  age. 
Thus  much  for  my  baby,  Henrietta  Naomi  Sager.  She  had 
another  name  when  she  came  here,  but  the  children  were  anxious 
to  call  her  after  her  parents.  Her  father's  name  was  Henry  and 
her  mother's  was  Naomi — we  put  them  together. 

What  I  call  an  improvement  upon  mother's  plan  is  the  daily 
bathing  of  children.  I  take  a  child  as  soon  as  it  is  born  and  put 
it  in  a  washbowl  of  water  and  give  it  a  thorough  washing  with 
soap.  I  do  this  the  next  day  and  the  next,  and  so  on  every  day  as 
long  as  the  washbowl  will  hold  it;  when  it  will  not,  then  I  get  a 
tub  or  something  larger,  and  continue  to  do  it  until  the  child  is 
able  to  be  carried  to  the  river  or  to  go  itself.  Every  one  of  my 
girls  go  to  the  river  all  summer  long  for  bathing  every  day  before 
dinner,  and  they  love  it  so  well  that  they  would  as  soon  do  with- 
out their  dinner  as  without  that.  In  the  winter  we  bathe  in  a 
tub  once  a  week  at  the  least.  This  is  our  practice  as  well  as  the 
children.  I  do  not  know  but  these  are  your  habits,  but  if  they 
are  not,  I  should  like  to  have  you  try  them  just  to  see  the  benefit 
-of  them.  I  never  gave  Henrietta  any  food  but  milk  until  she 
was  nearly  a  year-and-a-half  old.  She  never  wanted  anything 
else.  I  avoid  as  much  as  possible  giving  my  children  candies, 
sweetmeats,  etc.,  such  as  many  parents  allow  their  children  to  in- 
dulge in  almost  all  the  while;  neither  do  I  permit  them  to  eat 
cakes  and  pies  very  often. 

It  is  well  to  study  these  things  with  regard  to  our  children, 
for  it  saves  many  a  doctor  bill;  and  another  thing  with  our  chil- 
dren, we  never  give  medicine  if  we  can  help  it.  If  children  com- 
plain of  the  headache,  or  are  sick  at  the  stomach,  send  them  to 
bed  without  their  supper  or  other  meals;  they  are  sure  to  get  up 
very  soon  feeling  as  well  as  ever. 

My  husband  says  many  times  when  a  physician  is  called  to 
see  a  patient  he  finds  nothing  ails   him  but  eating  too  much.     If 


82  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

he  is  told  this  he  will  be  offended,  so  he  is  obliged  to  give  him 
something,  when  all  he  needs  is  to  do  without  a  meal  or  two  and 
to  fast  a  day  or  two  and  drink  water  gruel. 

Doubtless  you  will  think  this  a  strange  letter,  Harriet,  but 
you  must  take  it  for  what  is  worth   and    make  the  best  of  it. 

We  sleep  out  of  doors  in  the  summer  a  good  deal — the  boys 
all  summer.  This  is  a  fine,  healthy  climate.  I  wish  you  were 
here  to  enjoy  it  with  me,  and  pa  and  ma,  too.  We  have  as  happy 
a  family  as  the  world  affords.  I  do  not  wish  to  be  in  a  better  sit- 
uation than  this. 

I  never  hear  as  much  as  I  wish  about  Stephen's  children.  I 
should  think  Nancy  Jane  might  write  her  aunt  now — tell  me 
something  about  them. 

O,  how  I  wish  you  were  all  here.  I  could  find  work  enough 
for  you  all  to  do;  and  every  winter  we  have  a  good  school,  so 
that  our  children  are  learning  as  fast  as  most  children  in  the 
States. 

Harriet,  I  do  want  you  and  that  good  husband  of  yours  to  come 
here  and  bring  pa  and  ma.  I  know  you  will  like  it  after  you  get 
here,  if  you  do  not  like  the  journey.  There  are  many  of  the  last 
immigration  that  came  without  their  families,  that  are  now  go-, 
ing  back  to  bring  them  as  quick  as  possible,  and  are  only  sorry 
they  did  not  bring  them  last  year.  Bring  as  many  girls  as  you 
can,  but  let  every  young  man  bring  a  wife,  for  he  will  want  one 
after  he  gets  here,  if  he  never  did  before.  Girls  are  in  good 
demand  for  wives.  I  hope  Edward  and  Jane  will  come.  I  have 
written  to  them  to  come.  Judson  wants  to  come,  too.  I  hope  he 
will,  and  many  other  Christians.  Where  is  Jonas  G.?  Why  does 
he  not  come?  Poor  man,  I  never  can  think  of  him  without  sorrow. 

Love  to  all,  and  a  kiss  for  all  those  little  ones. 

Narcissa. 


OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  83 


TSHIMAKAIN,  April  22,  1846. 

Miss  Prentiss: — An  apology  is  due  in  my  attempting  to  write 
to  you,  being  an  entire  stranger,  although  I  feel  almost  as  though 
I  had  been  well  acquainted  with  you  for  years,  having  become  so 
much  attached  to  Mrs.  Whitman. 

Some  days  before  I  left  Dr.  Whitman's  for  this  place,  Mrs 
Whitman  was  speaking  of  having  a  great  number  of  letters  to 
write  to  the  States,  and  in  her  pleasant  way  wished  to  know  if  I 
would  not  write  some  for  her.  To  which  I  replied,  I  would  rather 
engage  her  to  write  for  me,  as  she  could  do  it  so  much  better;  but 
said,  finally,  that  I  would  write  one  to  any  of  her  friends,  if  she 
would  do  the  same  for  me. 

To  this  she  agreed  and  gave  me  your  name.  I  desired  her  to 
write  to  my  mother,  who  is  living  near  Monmouth,  Warren  county, 
Illinois,  where  I  have  been  living  for  the  last  ten  years  before  the 
spriug  of  '45,  at  which  time  I  left  home  with  the  desire  of  seeing 
the  far  West. 

As  I  learned  from  Mrs.  Whitman  that  you  and  your  brother 
had  some  thought  of  coming  to  this  country,  you  will  doubtless 
feel  more  or  less  interested  in  some  of  the  difficulties  and  trials 
that  one  has  to  encounter  on  the  way.  One  of  the  greatest  trials 
that  a  religious  mind  has  to  encounter  on  the  way  is  the  com- 
pany one  is  often  compelled  to  travel  with.  There  is  no  place 
where  one  can  better  see  all  the  varieties  of  civilized  life  than 
here.  You  can  see  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest  grade.  You 
may  see  all  these  at  home,  it  is  true,  but  you  can't  see  them  all 
brought  so  closely  together,  and  under  so  many  vicissitudes  of 
life  as  have  to  be  passed  through  on  the  way — hunger  and  thirst 
and  fatigue,  cold  and  wet  weather.  Now  you  have  bad  roads  and 
no  grass  for  your  cattle;  now,  perhaps,  some  one  will  tell  you  there 
is  much  danger  from  Indians.  After  traveling  all  day  through 
dust  that  is  almost  insupportable,  you  will  come  into  camp  at  9 
or  10  o'clock  at  night  and  feel  almost  as  though  you  did  not  care 


84  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

whether  scalped  before  morning  or  not.  And  to  make  the  trouble 
greater  the  cattle  have  almost  nothing  to  eat,  and  may  be  you 
have  no  water  within  a  mile,  and  perhaps  no  wood.  Under  such 
circumstances  who  is  there  among  the  sons  of  men  that  would 
not  be  likely  to  feel  somewhat  peevish,  so  much  so  that  almost 
anything  would  throw  him  off  his  balance,  and  be  likely  to  go 
beyond  the  bounds  of  propriety.  Sure  I  am  that  nothing  but 
"much  of  the  mind  of  Christ,"  will  support  one  under  such  trials. 
You  must  not  think  that  the  whole  journey  is  just  such  as  I  have 
described.  By  no  means.  I  have  given  you  about  as  dark  a  picture 
as  is  likely  to  be  met  with  on  the^road.  But  I  must  confess  that 
I  endured  more  fatigue  during  the  six  months  we  were  on  the 
way  than  I  had  ever  before  undergone  in  the  same  length  of  time. 
No  one  need  think  that  it  is  like  traveling  in  the  stage  or  on  the 
steamboat;  yet  one  is  not  often  vexed  with  high  prices,  nor 
are  they  in  danger  of  being  robbed  as  they  are  on  steamboat. 

One  is  not  very  likely  to  spend  a  great  deal  by  the  way,  with- 
out ha  does  it  in  gambling,  which  he  may  do  here  as  well  as  any 
where  if  he  wishes,  as  it  is  almost  always  the  case  that  some  one 
was  thoughtful  enough  to  bring  a  deck  of  cards  with  him;  and 
if  they  have  none  of  them,  they  bet  on  the  distance  to  some  hill, 
or  on  the  distance  traveled  during  the  day,  or  that  my  oxen  can 
draw  more  than  yours. 

Another  trial  that  one  has  often  to  meet  on  the  way  is  disre- 
gard for  the  Sabbath.  I  suppose  there  was  about  as  much  conten- 
tion arose  on  that  subject  in  the  company  in  which  I  came  as 
any  another.  A  good  part  of  the  company  cared  nothing  about 
that,  or  any  other  religious  question,  and  if  it  suited  them  they 
wished  to  travel  on  that  day  as  well  as  any  other.  And  even  when 
they  did  stop  on  that  day  it  was  only  to  mend  their  wagons,  or 
wash  their  clothes.  I  do  not  say  that  all  did  so,  for  there  were 
some  of  the  company  that  were  devotedly  pious.  There  were 
three  ministers  in  the  company,  one  a  Seceder  minister  from 
about  Burlington.  The  other  two  were  Baptist  ministers,  one 
from  Iowa,  the  other  from  Rock  Island  county,  111.,  whose  name 
was  Fisher,  and  who  was  formerly  of  Quincy,  and  is  doubtless  well 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  85 

known  there.  He  manifested  more  of  the  true  spirit  of  Christ 
while  on  the  road  than  any  other  man  with  whom  I  was  ac- 
quainted. Sometimes  one  is  compelled  to  travel  on  the  Sabbath, 
even  if  the  company  were  willing  to  stop,  as  it  happens  that  pas- 
ture cannot  be  found  insufficient  quantities,  though  this  does  not 
often  occur,  but  it  is  often  made  a  plea  for  traveling  on  that 
day  when  there  would  be  plenty  if  they  wished  to  stop  to  hunt 
buffalo.  The  company  in  which  I  came,  traveled,  may  be,  half 
the  Sabbaths  on  the  way.  We  had  preaching  most  of  the  days 
on  which  we  stopped.  But  I  am  dwelling  too  long  on  this  subject, 
perhaps. 

I  desire  to  say  to  you,  if  you  have  any  influence  with  respect 
to  this  country,  I  hope  you  will  use  it  in  endeavoring  to  have  it  set- 
tled with  pious  Yankees.  Although  not  one  myself,  yet,  as  west- 
ern people  say, "  I  have  a  mighty  liking  to  them."  I  do  hope  that 
it  may  be  another  New  England,  and  I  would  to  God  that  the 
mothers  of  this  country  could  only  be  from  Yankee  land.  Per- 
haps I  have  said  more  than  I  ought,  but  such  are  the  sentiments 
of  my  heart,  and  I  have  ventured  to  express  them.  Let  me  but 
have  the  choice  of  the  mothers  of  any  country,  and  I  will  feel  well 
satisfied  as  to  the  destiny  of  that  country,  either  as  to  its  moral, 
literary  or  civil  aspect.  But  ^the  moral  prospect  of  this  coun- 
try is  not  very  encouraging  at  this  time.  The  "  man  of  sin"  ap- 
pears to  be  making  considerable  progress  in  the  lower  settlements. 
One  thing  that  makes  much  in  his  favor  is,  he  has  the  influence 
of  the  H.  B.  Company  ;  though  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  God  will 
thwart  his  plans,  and  that  He  will  "overturn,  overturn  till  He  come 
whose  right  it  is  to  reign."  "Till  the  stone  cut  out  of  the  moun- 
tain shall  fill  up  the  whole  earth."  May  God  hasten  it  in  His  day, 
is  my  earnest  desire  and  prayer. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  you  to  know  any  one  with  whom  I 
have  been  formerly  acquainted.  Mr.  Bacon  used  to  be  my  precep- 
tor in  music,  whom  I  suppose  you  have  often  seen.  I  would  like 
much  to  be  remembered  to  him,  if  he  is  living  there. 

I  have,  perhaps,  said  more  now  than  you  will  think  worth 
sending  more  than  two  thousand  miles,  but  I  must  say  in  conclu- 


86  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

slon,  that  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Whitman  seem  very  near  to  me.  It  ap- 
peared almost  like  parting  with  my  mother  when  I  left  there  to 
come  to  this  place  (which  you  will  find  marked  on  the  map  of 
Oregon  in  the  November  number  of  the  Missionary  Herald.)  I 
have  spent  many  very  pleasant  hours  in  her  company  and  hope 
to  spend  more  ere  life  closes. 

Should  you  ever  receive  this,  a  letter  as  long  as  you  wish  to 
write  would  be  most  acceptable.  News  from  the  States  is  always 
scarce  at  Tshimakain  and  Waiilatpu. 

Your  true  friend, 

Andrew  Rogers,  Jr. 
Miss  Jane  A.  Prentiss, 

Quincy,  Adams  Co., 

Illinois,  U.  S.  A. 


Waiilatpu,  Sept.  nth,  1846. 

Mr.  Harvey  P.  Prentiss,  Mrs.  Livonia  L  Prentiss,  My  Dear 
Brother  and  Sister: — It  is  but  a  few  days  since  I  received  that 
good  family  letter  bearing  date  of  March,  1836,  [1846?].  Since 
that  time  my  mind  has  been  much  upon  you  for  this  reason:  I 
hear  you  are  removing  to  the  South  for  the  sake  of  a  warmer  cli- 
mate. I  had  much  rather  you  would  come  this  way,  and  have  been 
studying  ever  since  to  see  if  I  could  not  induce  you  to  come.  There 
are  many  reasons  why  we  wish  you  to  come,  but  my  time  is  so 
limited  that  I  can  give  you  but  a  few  of  them  now.  I  shall  write 
again  this  fall  to  some  or  all  of  you,  if  permitted.  We  wish  you 
were  here  to  assist  us  in  our  work;  we  have  more  than  we  can  do> 
and  if  you  were  here  now  we  could  give  you  both  labor  and  sup- 
port and  would  be  glad  to  do  it.  I  know  you  would  like  this 
mild  and  healthy  climate  better  than  the  one  where  you  have 
gone,  at  least  we  think  so.  Take  the  map,  if  you  please,  and  just 
look  at  our  situation  on  this  Western  coast.  The  Sandwich  Is- 
lands and  China  are  our  next  door  neighbors.     I  see  I   cannot  en- 


TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION  87 

large  upon  this  subject.  I  was  going  to  speak  of  the  facilities  for 
acquiring  competency,  if  not  wealth,  in  this  country,  but  my 
time  will  not  permit. 

A  little  reflection  will  show  you  what  I  wish  to  say  and  I 
hope  induce  you  to  come.  If  you  will  only  manage  to  get  here, 
we  are  here  to  assist  you  all  you  need  to  get  a  start,  if  you  should 
not  wish  to  continue  with  us.  Do  not  be  anxious  for  your  chil- 
dren ;  here  is  a  good  place  for  them  to  do  well  for  themselves,  both 
as  to  education  and  getting  a  living.  We  have  a  good  English 
school  here  every  winter  and  eventually  intend  to  have  an  acad- 
emy or  college.  Do  come.  I  say  this  with  all  my  heart.  You 
will  find  the  journey  a  trying  one,  but  there  is  no  difficulty  in 
getting  here.  A  good  wagon  with  an  ox  team,  and  cows  to  change 
with,  will  in  time  bring  you  here,  and  then  I  wish  you  would 
bring  Jane.  I  want  her  here  very  much  as  a  teacher*,  and  Edward, 
too.  If  you  come  they  will  come,  I  have  no  doubt,  for  last  year 
they  wrote  us  proposing  to  come  if  we  wanted  them.  The  Board 
had  rather  we  would  employ  a  farmer  than  appoint  one  and  send 
to  us.  We  expect  the  line  will  be  settled  with  England  soon,  if 
it  is  not  already,  and  that  the  United  States  will  extend  her  juris- 
diction over  us;  when  that  is  done,  we  expect  there  will  be  a  flood 
of  emigrants  rolling  this  way.  For  three  years  past  there  has 
been  large  companies  of  from  500  to  700  wagons  each  year  to  Ore- 
gon and  California. 

Brother  Kinny  says  he  would  come  to  Oregon,  if  he  had  no 
wife.  Please  tell  him  he  is  in  a  much  better  situation  for  coming  to 
Oregon  as  a  settler  than  if  he  had  none,  for  nothing  makes  bach- 
elors feel  so  much  like  getting  a  wife  as  to  come  here  and  find 
none  to  be  had.  Many  are  often  disposed  to  degrade  themselves 
enough  to  take  a  native. 

I  see  Congress  is  talking  about  starting  a  mail  across  the 
mountains.  When  that  is  accomplished,  I  shall  hope  to  hear  from 
home  friends  oftener  and  more  regular.  Mother  thinks  if  she 
should  come  here  she  would  be  afraid  of  the  Indians.  It  might 
be,  yet  I  think  she  would  soon  get  over  it.  They  never  were  more 
quiet  and  peaceable  than  now,  and   appear  to  be  getting  more  so. 


88  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

We  feel  that  your  going  to  Virginia  will  not  be  in  trie  way  of  your 
coming,  for  we  think  you  will  be  more  likely  to  come  here,  for  hav- 
ing come  thus  far.  I  hope  you  will  write  us  and  tell  us  all  about 
it.  As  I  know  not  where  to  direct  this  letter,  I  shall  send  it  to 
father  to  have  him  forward  it.  I  have  written  this  in  great 
haste,  for  the  Indian  post  is  waiting  to  take  this,  with  many  other 
letters,  to  Walla  Walla,  where  the  boats  will  leave  to-morrow 
morning. 

My  health  is  quite  good  for  me.  All  of  the  family  are  well; 
indeed,  we  have  no  sickness  at  all  in  the  family  scarcely,  although 
the  orphan  family,  before  they  came  here,  were  quite  subject  to 
sickness. 

Please  give  our  united  love  to  all  our  dear  friends,  and  be- 
lieve me 

Affectionately  your  sister, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 

Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Alleghany  Co., 

New  York. 


Waiilatpu,  Oregon  Territory,        \ 
Nov.  3rd,  1846.      / 

Mrs.  Clarissa  Prentiss,  Honored  and  Beloved  Mother:-  -It  is  with 
indescribable  pleasure  I  received  and  perused  those  excellent  lines,, 
penned  by  that  hand  that  has  been  so  much  of  my  life  devoted 
to  my  comfort,  and  dictated  by  that  heart  that  has  so  often 
beat  with  emotion  for  my  good,  too  deep  for  utterance.  It  really 
seemed  as  if  the  very  fountains  of  my  heart  were  broken  up  and 
my  whole  soul  was  filled  with  emotions  indescribable.  O,  my 
mother,  my  dear  mother,  and  father!  How  I  love  to  dwell  upon 
these  blessed  sounds.  Do  I  love  these  dear  ones  less,  as  I  grow  in 
years  and  as  separation  widens?  Surely  not.  Yea,  my  heart  clings 
to  them  with   an  undying  grasp;  and   I    bless  God   that  we  have 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  89 

the  assurance  that  this   union  is  not   to  end  in  this   life,  but    will 
exist,  yea,  and    increase,  too,  through  an  unending  eternity. 

It  was  but  a  few  mornings  ago  that  I  was  reading  mother's 
letter  to  the  children,  and  husband  was  sitting  by.  Afterwards  I 
handed  it  to  him,  and  looking  at  it,  he  said  (the  tears  filling  his 
eyes),  "  Mother  writes  well  for  one  that  writes  so  seldom;"  said  he 
"she  writes  better  than  any  of  her  daughters."  And  so  I  think, 
too.  I  hope  mother  will  be  encouraged,  when  she  finds  her  letters 
so  acceptable  and  doing  so  much  good,  to  write  oftener,  at  least 
once  a  year,  if  not  twice. 

I  have  not  yet  received  father's  promised  letter;  it  may  be  it 
failed  to  be  in  time  for  the  opportunity  of  a  transport  across  the 
mountains.  Mother's,  dated  March  26th,  1846,  was  sent  from  Bos- 
ton to  Westport  and  reached  me  in  about  five  months  after  it  was 
mailed.  This  brings  me  very  near  home.  Indeed,  it  is  the  first  I 
have  received  since  those  sent  by  husband.  It  would  be  well  to 
send  everything  direct  to  Westport,  to  the  care  of  Boone  &  Ham- 
ilton, and  in  the  summer  and  fall  to  Boston,  and  they  will  be 
most  sure  to  reach  us.  There  is  a  prospect  of  a  monthly  mail  to 
be  established  soon  from  St.  Louis  to  Oregon — so  we  judge  from 
movements  in  Congress;  when  that  is  accomplished  a  new  era 
will  commence  in  our  western  world  and  a  happy  one,  too,  to  us, 
if  our  friends  will  write  us  ot'ten. 

Since  writing  the  above  we  have  been  assembled  for  our  Tues- 
day evening  concert,  established  more  than  seven  years  ago  by 
■the  two  Missions,  to  pray  for  the  cause  of  Christ  in  Oregon.  We 
have  evidence  to  believe  that  this  concert  of  prayer  has  been 
greatly  blessed  to  us,  and  this  infant  country.  We  feel  that  God 
has  heard  prayer,  for  many  precious  souls  give  evidence  of  having 
passed  from  death  to  life,  some  among  the  Indians  and  many 
more  among  our  own  countrymen.  The  standard  of  piety  and 
morals  in  the  Willamette  is  good  for  so  new  a  country.  Many 
pious  people  and  professing  Christians  have  found  their  way 
here,  and  many  ministers  of  different  denominations;  yet  there 
is  a  want  of  able  ones.  Mother  asks  what  sort  of  people  come  to 
this  country.      There  are  very  many  intelligent  and  excellent  peo- 


90  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUM,   REUNION 

pie,  and  also  many  others  who  are  lawless  and  ignorant.  It  would 
be  well  for  the  Home  Missionary  Society,  in  her  benevolence,  to 
look  this  way,  for  this  country  is  destined  to  exert  an  influence 
that  will  be  felt  the  world  over.  The  Papists  are  at  work  with 
all  their  might  to  get  the  control  of  the  country,  and  have  been 
ever  since  we  have  been  here,  nearly.  We  hope  they  will  not 
succeed.  Protestants  need  to  be  up  and  doing  in  order  to  save 
this  the  only  spot  of  the  whole  western  coast  of  North  America 
from  their  iron  grasp.  God  grant  we  may.  For  this  purpose  we 
need  more  active  Christians,  teachers,  and  ministers  to  come  to 
this  country  from  the  East,  and  my  dear  father  will,  I  hope,  use 
all  his  powers  in  persuading  such  to  come.  I  cannot  bear  the 
thought  that  my  brothers  and  their  families  should  go  to  Virginia 
to  settle.  Why  will  they  not  come  here?  It  is  both  warm  and 
healthy.  Here  they  would  be  exerting  an  influence  that  would 
be  felt  for  good,  and  here  they  would  make  a  comfortable  living 
without  so  much  hard  labor.  I  have  written  to  Brother  H.  urging 
him  to  come  here.  We  want  him  to  help  us  very  much.  I  hope 
he  will  get  the  letter.  Brothers  H.  and  C.  I  think  would  like  the 
country,  if  once  here.  His  being  a  married  man  is  no  objection, 
but  rather  a  good  reason  why  he  should  come,  for  with  his  family 
here,  he  would  be  worth  something  to  the  country.  O,  how  I 
have  desired,  and  still  desire,  to  have  Jane  and  Edward  come  as 
teachers.  The  Lord  grant  that  they  may,  and  that  soon,  too.  I 
could  wish  that  the  Prattsburg  colony  might  be  turned  this  way, 
instead  of  going  to  Virginia.  They  are  much  needed  here,  and 
in  the  end  would  be  much  better  satisfied,  we  have  no  doubt.  I 
would  ask  father  to  come,  but  mother  says  she  would  be  afraid  of 
the  Indians.  I  have  a  widow  lady  in  my  family  who  came  over 
this  fall  that  is  fifty-seven  years  old.  She  is  an  excellent  woman, 
so  kind  and  motherly.  She  makes  me  think  of  my  own  dear 
mother  every  day,  and  what  it  would  be  to  have  her  here. 

Mother  wishes  me  to  write  about  my  children.  I  wrote  last 
spring  very  fully  about  them  all,  and  if  I  had  room  I  might 
again  say  much  more. 

We  have  a  good  school  taught  by   Mr.  Geiger,  son  of    Deacon 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  9 1 

Geiger,  formerly  of  Angelica.  He  is  an  excellent  young  man  and 
superior  teacher — children  all  happy  and  learning  fast..  Brother 
Spalding's  two  eldest  board  here  and  go  to  school,  and  we  are 
expecting  three  from  Brother  Walker's.  We  set  the  table  fr>r 
more  than  twenty  every  day  three  times,  and  it  is  a  pleasing 
sight.  Mr.  G.  serves  the  children.  Mr.  Rogers,  the  young  man 
that  taught  last  winter,  is  still  with  us  studying  for  the  ministry. 
He  is  a  good  young  man  and  his  Christian  society  affords  me 
much  comfort.  He  is  an  excellent  singer  and  has  taught  the 
children  to  sing  admirably.  When  they  came  here  not  one  of 
them  could  make  even  a  noise  towards  singing;  now  they  consti- 
tute quite  a  heavy  choir.  None  of  them  could  read  except  the 
three  eldest  very  poorly;  now  they  are  quite  good  scholars  and  are 
making  good  progress. 

Six  families  of  immigrants  winter  with  us,  and  some  young 
men.  Three  of  them  are  at  the  saw-mill  twenty  miles  from  here. 
The  children  of  the  three  families  that  remain  here  go  to  school; 
when  the}-  arrived  here,  several  were  quite  sick;  one  woman  re- 
mains so  still,  having  been  afflicted  with  the  inflammation  of  the 
lungs. 

Last  Saturday,  Marcus  was  called  to  attend  a  woman  at  the 
mill  at  the  birth  of  a  son.  We  find  it  quite  agreeable  to  have 
neighbors  to  winter  with  us,  but  this  may  be  the  last,  as  a  good 
southern  route  is  now  open  into  the  head  waters  of  the  Willam- 
ette, and  all  will  wish,  probably,  to  go  that  way,  as  it  will  be 
much  nearer  and  better. 

I  must  tell  mother  of  a  luxury  we  enjoy  very  much,  and  one 
that  has  a  tendency  to  make  us  very  cheerful  and  happy.  For  me 
it  has  done  much  toward  restoring  my  health  to  be  so  much  bet-  * 
ter  than  it  has  been  for  several  years.  It  is  daily  cold  bathing. 
Our  students  and  teachers  go  out  every  morning,  winter  and  sum-  « 
mer  and  jump  into  the  river.  Husband  does  it  frequently,  but 
not  so  regular,  on  account  of  his  business.  The  children  all  de- 
light in  it.  Both  would  be  glad  to,  all  winter,  if  we  had  conven- 
iences. In  the  summer  I  go  with  them  to  the  river,  and  now 
when  it  is  warm  enough,  and  when  it    is  cold  we  take  ihe  tub    in 


92  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

the  house.  I  know  father  would  like  to  live  here  on  that  account, 
and  he  would  enjoy  it  so  much,  too,  as  some  of  our  folks  do.  The 
climate  is  so  mild  and  exhilarating.  Husband  is  doing  all  he  can 
to  induce  friends  to  come.  He  has  written  to  Father  Hotchkiss 
inviting  him,  and  requested  him  to  copy  and  send  the  letter  to 
father,  and  many  others. 

I  see  I  must  soon  stop  for  the  want  of  room.  The  children  all 
send  their  love  to  their  grandparents,  and  aunts  and  uncles;  some 
of  them  will  be  able  to  write  soon  to  some  of  you. 

I  have  spoken  of  many  things  and  subjects,  but  one  still  re- 
mains about  which  I  should  like  to  write,  and  that  is  the  other 
half  of  self.  I  wish  mother  was  more  acquainted  with  him;  he  is 
all  benevolence,  has  amazing  energy  of  thought  and  action, 
nothing  is  too  hard  or  impossible  for  him  to  do,  that  can  be  done. 
I  often  think  he  cannot  last  always;  indeed,  his  strength  is  not 
what  it  used  to  be,  although  his  health  is  quite  good. 

We  try  to  do  good  to  our  neighbors  that  winter  with  us.  I 
hold  a  prayer  meeting  with  the  females  on  Wednesday,  which  is 
precious  to  us.  Thursday  evening  is  the  children's  meeting,  which  I 
superintend,  also.  Saturday  evening,  Mr.  Rogers  has  a  Bible  class, 
in  which  the  children  bring  forth  the  text  of  Scripture  they  have 
selected  on  a  given  subject.  Last  week  it  was  "  Prayer";  the  pres- 
ent week  it  is  the  "Sabbath."  Besides  this,  the  children  commit  a 
verse  a  day  which  is  got  in  the  morning  as  their  first  lesson  to  be 
recited   in  Sabbath  school. 

By  this  mother  will  see  that  both  my  hands  and  heart  are 
usefully  employed,  not  so  much  for  the  Indians  directly,  as 
my  own  family.  When  my  health  failed,  I  was  obliged  to  with- 
hold my  efforts  for  the  natives,  but  the  Lord  has  since  filled  my 
hands  with  other  labors,  and  I  have  no  reason  to  complain;  when 
I  am  not  overburdened  with  work  and  care,  I  am  happy  and 
cheerful,  but  as  I  many  times  am  straitened  with  more  than  I 
can  do  and  no  one  to  assist  but  my  children,  I  become  fretful  and 
impatient.  I  am  most  happily  provided  for  now.  I  have  a  good 
girl   in  the  kitchen,  and   the  old   lady,  which  relieves  me  a   great 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  93 

deal;  and  Mr.  Geiger  is  such  a  good  governor  and  teacher,  that 
the  children  give  me  little,  if  any,  trouble  as  to  that  part.  Of 
course  I  take  the  place  of  moderator  out  of  school.  We  pay  the 
girl  one  dollar  and  a  half  a  week;  the  widow  is  a  boarder,  but 
does  a  great  deal  in  keeping  things  straight  in  the  kitchen;  do 
not  charge  her  for  her  board. 

If  this  goes  from  the  Islands  to  Panama  and  across  the  Isthmus, 
mother  will  receive  it  in  a  short  time;  if  otherwise,  it  may  be 
some  time  before  it  will  reach  home,  if  it  ever  does.  I  would  be 
glad  to  speak  of  the  Indians,  but  one  sheet  is  too  small  to  contain 
all.  I  would  be  glad  to  say  to  my  dear  parents,  the  Indians  are 
kind  and  quiet  and  very  much  attached  to  us,  none  the  less  so 
for  having  so  many  children  about  us.  Many  that  were  on  the 
stage  when  we  came  here,  are  dead  and  new  ones  have  taken  their 
places.  And  as  husband  has  just  written  to  our  Board,  he  says 
he  never  has  felt  more  contented  and  that  he  was  usefully  em- 
ployed than  for  the  last  year  and  the  present.  May  the  Lord  in- 
cline the  hearts  of  my  dear  parents  and  friends  to  pray  especially 
for  us  this  winter  that  He  would  send  His  Spirit  urging  us  that 
new  souls  may  be  born  into  His  kingdom. 

We  send  much  love  to  all  our  relatives  and   friends. 

Ever  your  dutiful  and  affectionate  daughter, 

Narcissa. 
Mrs.  Clarissa  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York,  U.  S.  A. 


Oregon  City,  April  6,  1848. 

To  Stephen  Prentiss,  Esq.,  and  Mrs.  Prentiss,  the  Father  and 
Mother  of  the  late  Mrs.  Whitman  of  the  Oregon  Mission — My  Dear 
Father  and  Mother  in  Christ : — Through  the  wonderful  interposi- 
tion of  God  in  delivering  me  from  the  hand  of  the  murderer,  it 
has  become  my  painful  duty  to  apprise  you  of  the  death  of  your 
beloved  daughter,  Narcissa,  and  her   worthy  and  appreciated  hus- 


94  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

band,  your  honored  son-in-law,  Dr.  Whitman,  both  my  own  en- 
tirely devoted,  ever  faithful  and  eminently  useful  associates  in  the 
work  of  Christ.  They  were  inhumanly  butchered  by  their  own, 
up  to  the  last  moment,  beloved  Indians,  for  whom  their  warm 
Christian  hearts  had  prayed  for  eleven  years,  and  their  unwearied 
hands  had  administered  to  their  every  want  in  sickness  and  in 
distress,  and  had  bestowed  unnumbered  blessings  ;  who  claimed 
to  be,  and  were  considered,  in  a  high  state  of  civilization  and 
Christianity.  Some  of  them  were  members  of  our  church;  others 
candidates  for  admission;  some  of  them  adherents  of  the  Catho- 
lic church — all  praying  Indians.  They  were,  doubtless,  urged  on 
to  the  dreadful  deed  by  foreign  influences,  which  we  have  felt 
coming  in  upon  us  like  a  devastating  flood  for  the  last  three  or 
four  years;  and  we  have  begged  the  authors,  with  tears  in  our 
eyes,  to  desist,  not  so  much  on  account  of  our  own  lives  and  pro- 
perty, but  for  the  sake  of  those  coming,  and  the  safety  of  those  al- 
ready in  the  country.  But  the  authors  thought  none  would  be  in- 
jured but  the  hated  missionaries — the  devoted  heretics,  and  the 
work  of  hell  was  urged  on,  and  has  ended,  not  only  in  the  death 
of  three  missionaries,  the  ruin  of  our  mission,  but  in  a  bloody 
war  with  the  settlements,  which  may  end  in  the  massacre  of 
every  family. 

God  alone  can  save  us.  I  must  refer  you  to  the  Herald  for 
my  views  as  to  the  direct  and  remote  causes  which  have  conspired 
to  bring  about  the  terrible  calamity.  I  cannot  write  all  to  every 
one,  having  a  large  family  to  care  for;  Mrs.  Spalding  is  suffering 
from  the  dreadful  exposure  during  the  flight  and  since  we  have 
been  this  country— destitute  of  almost  every  thing,  no  dwelling 
place  as  yet,  food  and  raiment  to  be  found,  many,  many  afflicted 
friends  to  be  informed,  my  own  soul  bleeding  from  many  wounds; 
my  dear  sister,  Narcissa,  with  whom  I  have  grown  up  as  a  child 
of  the  same  family,  with  whom  I  have  labored  so  long  and  so  in- 
timately in  the  work  of  teaching  the  Indians,  and  my  beloved 
Dr.  Whitman,  with  whom  I  have  for  so  many  years  kneeled  in 
praying,  taking  sweet  connsel,  have  been  murdered,  and  their 
bones  scattered  upon  the  plains — the  labors  and  hopes  of  many 
years  in  an  hour   at   an  end,  the    house  of   the  Lord,  the  mission 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  95 

house,  burned,  and  its  walls  demolished,  the  property  of  the  Lord 
to  the  amount  of  thousands  of  dollars,  in  the  hands  of  the  rob- 
bers, a  once  large  and  happy  family  reduced  to  a  few  helpless 
children,  made  orphans  a  second  time,  to  be  separated  and  com- 
pelled to  find  homes  among  strangers;  our  fears  for  our  dear 
brothers  Walker  and  Eells  of  the  most  alarming  character  ;  our 
infant  settlements  involved  in  a  bloody  war  with,  hostile  Indians 
and  on  the  brink  of  ruin — all,  all,  chill  my  blood  and  fetter  my 
hands. 

The  massacre  took  place  on  the  fatal  29th  of  November  last,  }  ^ 
commencing  at  half  past  one.  Fourteen  persons  were  mur- 
dered first  and  last.  Nine  men  the  first  day.  Five  men  es- 
caped from  the  Station,  three  in  a  most  wonderful  manner,  one 
of  whom  was  the  trembling  writer,  with  whom  I  know  you  will 
unite  in  praising  God  for  delivering  even  one.  The  names  and 
places  of  the  slain  are  as  follows:  The  two  precious  names  already 
given,  my  hand  refuses  to  write  them  again.  Mr.  Rogers,  young 
man,  teacher  of  our  Mission  school  in  winter  of  '46;  since  then 
has  been  aiding  us  in  our  mission  work  and  studying  for  the 
ministry,  with  a  view  to  be  ordained  and  join  our  Mission;  John 
and  Francis  Sager,  the  two  eldest  of  the  orphan  family,  ages  17 
and  15;  Mr.  Kimball  of  Laporte,  Indiana,  killed  second  day,  left  a 
widow  and  five  children;  Mr.  Saunders  of  Oskaloosa,  Iowa,  left  a 
widow  and  five  children;  Mr.  Hall  of  Missouri,  escaped  to  Fort 
Walla  Walla,  was  refused  protection,  put  over  the  Columbia  river, 
killed  by  the  Walla  Wallas,  left  a  widow  and  five  children;  Mr. 
Marsh  of  Missouri,  left  a  son  grown  and  young  daughter;  Mr. 
Hoffman  of  Elmira,  New  York;  Mr.  Gillan  of  Oskaloosa,  Iowa; 
Mr.  Sails  of  latter  place;  Mr.  Bewley  of  Missouri.  Two  last 
dragged  from  sick  beds  eight  days  after  the  first  massacre  and 
butchered;  Mr.  Young,  killed  second  day.  Last  five  were  un- 
married men.  Forty  woman  and  children  fell  captives  into  the 
hands  of  the  murderers,  among  them  my  own  beloved  daughter, 
Eliza,  ten  years  old.  Three  of  the  captive  children  soon  died,  left 
without  parental  care,  tw'o  of  them  your  dear  Narcissa's,  once  a 
widow  woman's.  The  young  women  were  dragged  from  the 
house  by  night  and  beastly  treated.     Three  of  them  became  wives 


96  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

to  the  murderers.  One,  the  daughter  of  Mrs.  Kimball,  became 
the  wife  of  him  who  killed  her  father — often  told  her  of  it.  One, 
Miss  Bewley,  was  taken  twenty  miles  to  the  Utilla  and  became 
the  wife  of  Hezekiah.a  principal  chief  and  member  of  our  church 
who,  up  till  that  time,  had  exhibited  a  good  character.  Eight 
days  after  the  first  butchery,  the  two  families  at  the  saw-mill,, 
twenty  miles  distant,  were  brought  down  and  the  men  spared  to 
do  work  for  the  Indians.  This  increased  the  number  of  the  cap- 
tives to  forty-seven,  after  the  three  children  died.  In  various 
ways  they  were  cruelly  treated  and  compelled  to  cook  and  work 
late  and  early  for  the  Indians. 

As  soon  as  Mrs.  Spalding  heard  of  my  probable  death  and  the 
captivity  of  Eliza,  she  sent  two  Indians  (Nez  Perces)  to  effect  her 
deliverance,  if  possible.  The  murderers  refused  to  give  her  up 
until  they  knew  whether  I  was  alive,  as  I  had  escaped  their  hands, 
and  whether  the  Americans  would  come  up  to  avenge  the  death  of 
their  countrymen.  Should  the  Americans  show  themselves,  every 
woman  and  child  should  be  butchered.  The  two  sick  men  had 
just  been  beaten  and  cut  to  pieces  before  the  eyes  of  the  help- 
less children  and  women,  their  blood  spilled  upon  the  floor,  and 
their  mangled  bodies  lay  at  the  door  for  forty-eight  hours,  over 
which  the  captives  were  compelled  to  pass  for  wood  and  water. 

Eliza  says  when  she  heard  the  heavy  blows  and  heard  dying 
groans,  she  stopped  her  ears.  Such  was  and  such  had  been  for 
several  days  the  situation  of  Eliza,  when  the  two  Nez  Perces,  par- 
ticular friends  to  our  children,  told  Eliza  they  must  return  with- 
out her.  The  murderers  would  not  give  her  up.  She  had  given 
up  her  father  as  dead,  but  her  mother  was  alive  and  up  to  this 
hour  she  hoped  to  reach  her  bosom,  but  now  this  hope  went  out, 
and  she  began  to  pine.  Besides,  she  was  the  only  one  left  who 
understood  the  language,  and  was  called  up  at  all  hours  of  the 
night  and  kept  out  for  hours  in  the  cold  and  wet,  with  almost 
no  clothing  left  by  the  hand  of  the  robbers,  to  interpret  for  whites 
and  Indians,  till  she  was  not  able  to  stand  upon  her  feet,  and 
then  they  beset  her  lying  upon  the  floor — bed  she  had  none — 
till  her  voice  failed  from  weakness. 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  97 

I  had  reached  home  before  the  Indians  who  went  for  her  re- 
turned, and  shared  with  my  wife  the  anguish  of  seeing  the  Indians 
return  without  our  child.  Had  she  been  dead,  we  could  have  giv- 
en her  up;  but  to  have  a  living  child  a  captive  in  the  hands  of 
Indians  whose  hands  were  stained  with  the  blood  of  our  slain 
friends,  and  not  able  to  deliver  her,  was  the  sharpest  dagger  that 
ever  entered  my  soul.  Suffice  it  to  say,  we  found  our  daughter  at 
Fort  Walla  Walla  with  the  ransomed  captives,  too  weak  to  stand, 
a  mere  skeleton,  her  mind  as  much  injured  as  her  health.  Through 
the  astonishing  goodness  of  God  she  has  regained  her  health  and 
strength,  and  her  mind  has  resumed  its  usual  tone. 

The  captives  were  delivered  by  the  prompt  interposition  and 
judicious  management  of  Mr.  Odgen,  Chief  Factor  of  the  H.  H.  B. 
Co.,  to  whom  too  much  praise  cannot  be  awarded.  He  arrived  at 
Walla  Walla  Dec.  12th.  In  about  two  weeks  he  succeeded  in 
ransoming  all  the  captives  for  blankets,  shirts,  guns,  ammuni- 
tion, tobacco,  to  the  amount  of  some  five  hundred  dollars.  They 
were  brought  into  the  fort  on  Dec.  30th.  Myself  and  those  with 
me  arrived  on  the  first  of  January.  Oh,  what  a  meeting — remnants 
of  once  large  and  happy  families;  but  our  tears  of  grief  were 
mingled  with  tears  of  joy.  We  had  not  dared  to  hope  that  de- 
liverance could  come  so  soon    and  so  complete. 

For  some  time  previous  to  the  massacre  the  measles,  followed 
by  the  dysentery,  had  been  raging  in  the  country.  The  families 
at  Waiilatpu  had  been  great  sufferers.  I  arrived  at  Waiilatpu  the 
22nd  of  November;  eight  days  before  the  dreadful  deed.  All  the 
.doctor's  family  had  been  sick,  but  were  recovering;  three  of  the 
children  were  yet  dangerously  sick;  besides  Mr.  Osborn,  with  his 
sick  family,  were  in  the  same  house.  Mrs.  Osborn  and  three  chil- 
dren were  dangerous;  one  of  their  children  died  during  the  week. 
A  young  man,  Mr.  Bewley,  was  also  very  sick.  The  doctor's  hands 
were  more  than  full  among  the  Indians;  three  and  sometimes 
five  died  in  a  day.  Dear  sister  Whitman  seemed  ready  to  sink 
under  the  immense  weight  of  labor  and  care.  But  like  an  angel 
of  mercy,  she  continued  to  administer  with  her  ever-ready  hand 
to  the  wants  of   all.     Late   and   early,  night  and  day,  she    was  by 


98  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

the  bed  of  the  sick,  the  dying,  and  the  afflicted.  During  the  week, 
I  enjoyed  several  precious  seasons  with  her.  She  was  the  same 
devoted  servant  of  the  L/Ord  she  was  when  we  enjoyed  like  prec- 
ious seasons  in  our  beloved  Prattsburg  many  years  ago,  ready 
to  live  or  die  for  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Saturday 
the  Indians  from  the  Utilla,  sent  for  the  doctor  to  visit  their  sick. 
He  wished  me  to  accompany  him.  We  started  late,  rode  in  a 
heavy  rain  through  the  night,  arrived  in  the  morning.  The  doc- 
tor attended  upon  the  sick,  and  returned  on  the  Sabbath  on 
account  of  the  dangerous  sickness  in  his  family.  I  remained  till 
Wednesday.  Monday  morning  the  doctor  assisted  in  burying  an 
Indian;  returned  to  the  house  and  was  reading- -several  Indians, 
as  usual  were  in  the  house;  one  sat  down  by  him  to  attract  his 
attention  by  asking  for  medicine;  another  came  behind  him  with 
tomahawk  concealed  under  his  blanket  and  with  two  blows  in 
the  back  of  the  head,  brought  him  to  the  floor  senseless,  probably, 
but  not  lifeless;  soon  after  Telaukaikt,  a  candidate  for  admission 
in  our  church,  and  who  was  receiving  unnumbered  favors  every 
day  from  brother  and  sister  Whitman,  came  in  and  took  particu- 
lar pains  to  cut  and  beat  his  face  and  cut  his  throat;  but  he  still 
lingered  till  near  night.  As  soon  as  the  firing  commenced  at  the 
different  places,  Mrs.  Hayes  ran  in  and  assisted  sister  Whitman 
in  taking  the  doctor  from  the  kitchen  to  the  sitting-room  and 
placed  him  upon  the  settee.  This  was  before  his  face  was  cut. 
His  dear  wife  bent  over  him  and  mingled  her  flowing  tears  with 
his  precious  blood.  It  was  all  she  could  do.  They  were  her  last 
tears.  To  whatever  she  said,  he  would  reply  "no"  in  a  whisper, 
probably  not  sensible.  John  Sager  was  sitting  by  the  doctor 
when  he  received  the  first  blow,  drew  his  pistol,  but  his  arm  was 
seized,  the  room  filling  with  Indians,  and  his  head  was  cut  to 
pieces.  He  lingered  till  near  night.  Mr.  Rogers,  attacked  at  the 
water,  escaped  with  a  broken  arm  and  wound  in  the  head,  and 
rushing  into  the  house,  shut  the  door.  The  Indians  seemed  to 
have  left  the  house  now  to  assist  in  murdering  others.  Mr.  Kim- 
ball, with  a  broken  arm  rushed  in;  both  secreted  themselves  up- 
stairs. Sister  Whitman  in  anguish,  now  bending  over  her  dying 
husband  and  now  over  the  sick;  now  comforting  the  flying,  scream- 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  99 

ing  children,  was  passing  by  the  window,  when  she  received  the 
first  shot  in  her  right  breast,  and  fell  to  the  floor.  She  immedi- 
ately arose  and  kneeled  by  the  settee  on  which  lay  her  bleeding 
husband,  and  in  humble  prayer  commended  her  soul  to  God  and 
prayed  for  her  dear  children  who  were  about  to  be  made  a  second 
time  orphans  and  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  her  direct  murderers. 
I  am  certain  she  prayed  for  her  murderers,  too.  She  now  went  into 
the  chamber  with  Mrs.  Hayes,  Miss  Bewley,  Catharine,  and  the 
sick  children.  They  remained  till  near  night.  In  the  meantime 
the  doors  and  windows  were  broken  in  and  the  Indians  entered 
and  commenced  plundering,  but  they  feared  to  go  into  the  cham- 
ber. They  called  for  sister  Whitman  and  brother  Rogers  to  come 
down  and  promised  they  should  not  be  hurt.  This  promise  was 
often  repeated,  and  they  came  down.  Your  dear  Narcissa,  faint 
with  the  loss  of  blood,  was  carried  on  a  settee  to  the  door  by 
brother  Rogers  and  Miss  Bewle}'.  Every  corner  of  the  room  was 
crowded  with  Indians  having  their  guns  ready  to  fire.  The  chil- 
dren had  been  brought  down  and  huddled  together  to  be  shot. 
Eliza  was  one.  Here  they  had  stood  for  a  long  time  surrounded 
by  guns  pointing  at  their  breasts.  She  often  heard  the  cry  "Shall 
we  shoot?"  and  her  blood  became  cold,  she  says,  and  she  fell  upon 
the  floor.  But  now  the  order  was  given,  "Do  not  shoot  the  chil- 
dren," as  the  settee  passed  through  the  children  over  the  bleeding, 
dying  body  of  John.  Fatal  moment!  The  settee  advanced  about 
its  length  from  the  door,  when  the  guns  were  discharged  from 
without  and  within,  the  powder  actually  burning  the  faces  of  the 
children.  Brother  Rogers  raised  his  hand  and  cried,  "my  God," 
and  fell  upon  his  face,  pierced  with  many  balls.  But  he  fell  not 
alone.  An  equal  number  of  the  deadly  weapons  were  leveled  at  the 
settee  and,  oh !  that  this  discharge  had  been  deadlly.  But  oh !  Father 
of  Mercy,  so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  sight.  She  groaned,  she  lingered. 
The  settee  was  rudely  upset. — Oh,  what  have  I  done?  Can  the 
aged  mother  read  and  live?  Think  of  Jesus  in  the  hands  of  the 
cruel  Jews.  I  thought  to  withhold  the  worst  facts,  but  then  they 
would  go  to  you  from  other  sources,  and  the  uncertainty  would 
be  worse  than  the  reality.     Pardon  me,  if  I  have  erred. 

Francis  at  the  same  time  was  dragged  from   the  children  and 


IOO  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

shot;  all  three  now  lay  upon  the  ground,  groaning,  struggling,  dy- 
ing. As  they  groaned,  the  Indians  beat  them  with  their  whips  and 
clubs,  and  tried  to  force  their  horses  over  them.  Darkness  dis- 
persed the  Indians,  but  the  groans  of  the  dying  continued  till  in 
night.  Brother  Rogers  seemed  to  linger  the  longest.  A  short 
time  before  Mr.  Osborn  and  family  left  the  hiding  place,  he  was 
heard  to  say  in  a  faint  voice,  "Lord  Jesus,  come  quickly,"  and  all 
was  silent.  The  next  morning  they  were  seen  to  be  dead,  by  the 
children.  But  what  a  sight  for  those  dear  lambs — made  a  second 
time  fatherless,  motherless;  and  my  dear  Eliza  stood  with  them, 
but  she  covered  her  face  with  her  hands — she  says  she  could  not 
look  upon  her  dear  Mrs.  Whitman,  always  like  a  mother  to  her. 
The  dead  bodies  were  not  allowed  to  be  removed  till  Wednesday 
morning,  when  they  were  gathered  together.  Eliza  and  some  of 
the  other  girls  sewed  sheets  around  them,'a  large  pit  was  dug  by  a 
Frenchman  and  some  friendly  Indians,  and  they  were  buried  to- 
gether, but  so  slightly  that  when  the  army  arrived  at  the  station, 
they  found  that  the  wolves  had  dug  them  all  up,  eaten  their  flesh, 
and  scattered  their  bones  upon  the  plains.  "O  God,  the  heathen 
are  come  into  thine  inheritance;  thy  holy  temple  have  they  defiled 
The  bodies  of  thy  servants  have  they  given  to  be  meat  unto  the 
fowls  of  the  heaven,  the  flesh  of  thy  saints  unto  the  beasts  of  the 
earth.  Their  blood  have  they  shed  like  water  round  about  Jeru- 
salem; and  there  was  none  to  bury  them.  Help  us,  O  God  of  our 
Salvation,  for  the  Glory  of  thy  name." 

Some  hair  from  the  sacred  head  of  your  dearest  daughter  was 
found  by  the  army,  I  believe  rolled  in  a  piece  of  paper,  doubt- 
less cut  and  put  away  by  her  own  hand  some  two  3^ears  ago.  A 
lock  was  obtained  by  Dr.  Wilcox  of  East  Bloomfield,  New  York, 
which  was  handed  to  me  the  other  day.  With  great  satisfaction  I 
send  it  to  her  deeply  afflicted  father  and  mother.     Precious  relic! 

And  now,  shall  I  attempt  to  sooth  your  bleeding  hearts?  It 
would  be  like  one  drowning  man  stretching  out  his  hand  to 
hold  up  another.  I,  myself,  am  in  the  deepest  waters  of  afflic- 
tion. My  dear  brother  and  sister  Whitman  no  more;  their  mis- 
sion house  demolished;  myself  and  family  driven  from  our  first 


TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION  IOI 

own  home,  and  the  little  church  which  we  had  been  gathered 
around;  our  brothers,  Walker  and  Eells,  perhaps,  slain  and  their 
wives  and  children  captives  in  the  hands  of  the  murderers.  "But 
why  art  thou  disquieted,  oh  my  soul?"  "Even  so,  Father,  for  so  it 
seemeth  good  in  Thy  sight."  "This  world  is  poor  from  shore  to 
shore."  There  is  no  place  like  heaven,  and  it  has  seemed  doubly 
precious  since  the  day  my  dear  associates  ended  their  toils,  and 
left  this  world  of  blood  and  sin  to  enter  upon  the  unending  song 
of  Moses  and  the  Lamb.  I  know  where  you  will  go,  my  honored 
father  and  mother  in  Christ,  when  you  have  read  this  letter,  you 
will  go  to  the  Mercy  Seat,  and  there  you  will  find  balm  for  your 
deeply  wounded  souls,  for  you  know  how  to  ask  for  it.  And  when 
there,  you  will  not  forget  the  scattered  sheep  and  the  trembling 
lambs  of  our  broken  mission. 

At  the  time  of  the  massacre,  Perrin  Whitman,  nephew  of  Dr. 
Whitman,  was  at  The  Dalles  in  the  family  of  Mr.  Hinman,  whom 
we  had  employed  to  occupy  thestation  which  had  been  lately  trans- 
ferred to  our  mission  by  the  Methodist  mission.  On  hearing  of 
the  bloody  tragedy,  they  left  the  station  and  came  to  the  Wal- 
lamette.  He  is  here.  The  little  half-breed  Spanish  boy  by  the 
name  of  David  Malin  was  retained  at  Walla  Walla.  I  fear  he 
will  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  priests  who  remain  in  the  country. 
Catherine,  Elizabeth,  Matilda,  Henrietta  and  Mary  Ann,we  brought 
with  us  to  this  place;  Mary  Ann  has  since  died.  For  the  other 
four  we  have  obtained  good  places  and  they  seem  satisfied  and 
happy.  Catharine  is  in  the  family  of  the  Rev.  Mr.  Roberts,  Super- 
intendent of  the  Methodist  mission. 

Three  Papists,  one  an  Indian  formerly  from  Canada  and  late 
from  the  state  of  Maine,  had  been  in  the  employ  of  the  doctor  a 
few  weeks;  one  a  half  breed  with  Cayuse  wife,  and  one  a  Canadian 
who  had  been  in  the  employ  of  the  doctor  for  more  than  a  year, 
seemed  to  have  aided  in  the  massacre,  and  probably  secured  most 
of  the  money,  watches  and  valuable  property.  The  Canadian  came 
down  with  the  captives,  was  arrested,  brought  before  a  justice, 
bound  over  for  trial  at  next  court  charged  with  having  aided  in 
the  murders.     The  night  before  he  was  arrested,  he  secreted  in  the 


102  TWENTIETH   ANNUAE   REUNION 

ground  and  between  the  boards  of  a  house  considerable  of 
Mr.  Hoffman's  money  and  a  watch  of  one  of  the  widows.  The 
Canadian  Indian,  Jo  Lewis,  shot  Francis  with  his  own  hand  and 
was  the  first  to  commence  breaking  the  windows  and  doors;  is  now 
with  the  hostile  Indians.  The  half-breed  named  Finley  was 
camped  near  the  station,  and  in  his  lodge  the  murderers  held  their 
councils  before  and  during  the  massacre.  He  was  at  the  head  of 
the  Cayuses  at  the  battle  near  the  Utilla;  managed  by  pretended 
friendship,  to  attract  the  attention  of  our  officers,  while  his  war- 
riors, unobserved,  surrounded  our  army.  As  soon  as  they  had 
gained  their  desired  position,  he  wheeled  and  fired  his  gun,  as  the 
signal  for  the  Indians  to  commence.  Although  they  had  the  ad- 
vantage of  the  ground,  far  superior  in  number,  and  the  first  fire, 
they  were  completely  defeated,  driven  from  the  field  and  finally 
from  their  possession  of  the  country,  and  expect  to  fortify  at  the 
mission  station  at  Waiilatpu.  The  Cayuses  have  removed  their 
families  and  their  stock  over  Snake  river  into  the  Palouse  coun- 
try in  the  direction  of  brothers  Walker  and  Eells.  Our  army  came 
upon  them  at  Snake  river  as  they  about  were  to  cross.  About  1,500 
head  of  cattle  and  the  whole  Cayuse  camp  were  completely  in  their 
hands.  But  here  our  officers  were  again  for  the  third  and  fourth 
time  outwitted  by  some  Indians  riding  up  to  them  and  pretend- 
ing friendship,  saying  that  some  of  their  own  cattle  were  in  the 
band,  and  begged  time  to  separate  them.  Our  commander  having 
received  orders  not  to  involve  the  innocent  with  the  guilty,  gave 
them  till  morning.  It  is  said  his  men  actually  wept  at  the  terri- 
ble mistake.  Next  morning,  as  might  be  expected,  most  of  the 
cattle  and  nearly  all  the  Cayuse  property  had  been  crossed  over 
and  were  safe.  Our  army  started  away  with  some  500  head.  The 
Indians,  with  the  pretended  friendly  ones  at  the  head,  fought  all 
day.  At  night,  being  double  the  number  of  the  whites,  the  In- 
dians retook  their  cattle.  The  whites  were  obliged  to  retreat  to 
the  station.  The  Indians  continued  to  fight  them  through  the 
night  and  the  next  day.  The  third  day  the  officers  reached  the 
station,  none  killed,  but  seven  wounded,  one  badly,  six  of  the  In- 
dians killed  and  some  thirty  wounded.  The  commander  and 
half  of  the  army  immediately  started  for  this  country  for  provis- 


OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  103 

ions,  ammunition  and  more  men.  If  the  few  left  are  not  soon 
reinforced  and  supplied,  they  will  be  in  danger  of  being  cut  off, 
and  the  Indians  will  be  down  on  the  settlements.  The  com- 
mander was  accidentally  killed  on  his  way  down. 

The  Lord  has  transferred  us  from  one  field  of  labor  to  an- 
other. Through  the  kindness  of  Rev.  Mr.  Clark,  Mr.  Smith  and 
others,  we  have  been  brought  to  this  place,  "Tualatin  Plains." 
Mrs.  Spalding  has  a  large  school,  and  I  am  to  preach,  God  assist- 
ing, at' three  stations  through  the  summer. 

As  I  cannot  write  to  all,  I  wish  this  letter  printed  and  copies 
of  the  papers  sent  to  Rev.  David  Greene,  Mission  House,  Boston, 
Mass.;  Dudley  Allen,  M.  D.,  Kinsman,  Trumbull  Co.,  Ohio;  Rev. 
C.F.  Scoville,  Holland  Patent,  Oneida  Co.,  New  York.;  Calvin  C. 
Stowe,  Lane  Seminar}',  Cincinnati,  Ohio;  Mr.  Seth  Paine,  Troy, 
Bradford  Co.,  Penn.;  Mr.  G.  W.  Hoffman,  Elmira,  Chemung  Co., 
New  York;  Hon.  Stratton  H.  Wheeler,  Wheeler,  Steuben  Co., 
New  York,  and  Christian  Observer,  Phildelphia,  Penn. 

Yours  in  the  deep  waters  of  affliction, 

H.  H.  Spalding. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss,  Esq., 
West  Almond, 
Allegheny  Co.,  New  York. 


ADDITIONAL  LETTERS 


[The  following  letters  of  Mrs.  Whitman,  with  an  occasional 
one  from  her  husband,  were  secured  after  those  preceding  were 
arranged  for  printing.  This  statement  is  made  to  show  why 
there  is  a  break  in  the  chronological  arrangement. — GEO.  H. 
Himes,  Secretary.] 


Platte  River,  Just  above  the  Forks,") 
June  3d,  1836.      J 

Dear  Sister  Harriet  and  Brother  Edward: — Friday  eve,  six 
o'clock.  We  have  just  encamped  for  the  night  near  the  bluffs 
over  against  the  river.  The  bottoms  are  a  soft,  wet  plain,  and  we 
were  obliged  to  leave  the  river  yesterday  for  the  bluffs.  The  face 
of  the  country  yesterday  afternoon  and  today  has  been  rolling 
sand  bluffs,  mostly  barren,  quite  unlike  what  our  eyes  have  been 
satiated  with  for  weeks  past.  No  timber  nearer  than  the  Platte, 
and  the  water  tonight  is  very  bad — got  from  a  small  ravine.  We 
have  usually  had  good  water  previous  to  this. 

Our  fuel  for  cooking  since  we  left  timber  (no  timber  except 
on  rivers)  has  been  dried  buffalo  dung  ;  we  now  find  plenty  of  it 
and  it  answers  a  very  good  purpose,  similar  to  the  kind  of  coal 
used  in  Pennsylvania  (I  suppose  now  Harriet  will  make  up  a  face 
at  this,  but  if  she  was  here  she  would  be  glad  to  have  her  supper 
cooked  at  any  rate  in  this  scarce  timber  country).  The  present 
time  in  our  journey  is  a  very  important  one.  The  hunter  brought 
us  buffalo  meat  yesterday  for  the  first  time.  Buffalo  were  seen  today 
but  none  have  been  taken.  We  have  some  for  supper  tonight.  Hus- 
band is  cooking  it — no  one  of  the  company  professes  the  art  but 
himself.  I  expect  it  will  be  very  good.  Stop — I  have  so  much  to 
say  to  the  children  that  I  do  not  know  in  what  part  of  my  story 
to  begin.     I  have  very  little  time  to  write.      I  will    first   tell   you 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  105 

what  our  company  consists  of.  We  are  ten  in  number;  five  mis- 
sionaries, three  Indian  boys  and  two  young  men  employed  to  as- 
sist in  packing  animals. 

Saturday,  4th.  Good  morning,  H.  and  E.  I  wrote  last  night 
till  supper;  after  that  it  was  so  dark  I  could  not  see.  I  told  you 
how  many  bipeds  there  was  in  our  company  last  night;  now  for 
the  quadrupeds  :  Fourteen  horses,  six  mules  and  fifteen  head  of 
cattle.  We  milk  four  cows.  We  started  with  seventeen,  but  we 
have  killed  one  calf,  and  the  Fur  Company,  being  out  of  provision, 
have  taken  one  of  our  cows  for  beef.  It  is  usually  pinching 
times  with  the  Company  before  they  reach  the  buffalo.  We  have 
had  a  plenty  because  we  made  ample  provision  at  Liberty.  We 
purchased  a  barrel  of  flour  and  baked  enough  to  last  us,  with 
killing  a  calf  or  two,  until  we  reached  the  buffalo. 

The  Fur  Company  is  large  this  year;  we  are  really  a  moving 
village — nearly  400  animals,  with  ours,  mostly  mules,  and  70  men. 
The  Fur  Company  have  seven  wagons  drawn  by  six  mules  each, 
heavily  loaded,  and  one  cart  drawn  by  two  mules,  which  carries 
a  lame  man,  one  of  the  proprietors  of  the  Company.  We  have 
two  wagons  in  our  company.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.,  husband  and  my- 
self ride  in  one,  Mr.  Gray  and  the  baggage  in  the  other.  Our  In- 
dian boys  drive  the  cows  and  Dulin  the  horses.  Young  Miles 
leads  our  forward  horses,  four  in  each  team.  Now  E.,  if  you  want 
to  see  the  camp  in  motion,  look  away  ahead  and  see  first  the  pilot 
and  the  captain,  Fitzpatrick,  just  before  him;  next  the  pack  ani- 
mals, all  mules,  loaded  with  great  packs;  soon  after  you  will  see 
the  wagons,  and  in  the  rear,  our  company.  We  all  cover  quite  a 
space.  The  pack  mules  always  string  along  one  after  the  other 
just  like  Indians. 

There  are  several  gentlemen  in  the  company  who  are  going 
over  the  mountains  for  pleasure.  Capt.  Stewart  (Mr.  Lee  speaks 
of  him  in  his  journal — he  went  over  when  he  did  and  returned) 
he  is  an  Englishman  and  Mr.  Celam.  We  had  a  few  of  them  to  tea 
with  us  last  Monday  evening,  Capts.  Fitzpatrick,  Stewart,  Major 
Harris  and  Celam. 


Io6.  OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

I  wish  I.  could  describe  to  you  how  we  live  so  that  you  can 
realize  it.  Our  manner  of  living  is  far  preferable  to  any  in  the 
States.  I  never  was  so  contented  and  happy  before,  neither  have 
I  enjoyed  such  health  for  years.  In  the  morning  as  soon  as  the 
day  breaks  the  first  that  we  hear  is  the  words,  "Arise  !  Arise  !" — 
then  the  mules  set  up  such  a  noise  as  you  never  heard,  which  puts 
the  whole  camp  in  motion.  We  encamp  in  a  large  ring,  baggage 
and  men,  tents  and  wagons  on  the  outside,  and  all  the  animals 
except  the  cows,  which  are  fastened  to  pickets,  within  the  circle. 
This  arrangement  is  to  accommodate  the  guard,  who  stand  regu- 
larly ever}'  night  and  day,  also  when  we  are  in  motion,  to  protect 
our  animals  from  the  approach  of  Indians,  who  would  steal' them. 
As  I  said,  the  mules'  noise  brings  every  man  on  his  feet  to  loose 
them  and  turn  them  out  to  feed. 

Now,  H.  and  E.,  you  must  think  it  very  hard  to  have  to  get 
up  so  early  after  sleeping  on  the  soft  ground,  when  you  find  it 
hard  work  to  open  your  eyes  at  seven  o'clock.  Just  think  of  me 
- — every  morning  at  the  word,  "  Arise  !"  we  all  spring.  While  the 
horses  are  feeding  we  get  breakfast  in  a  hurry  and  eat  it.  By 
this  time  the  words,  "  Catch  up!  Catch  up,"  ring  through  the 
camp  for  moving.  We  are  ready  to  start  usually  at  six,  travel 
till  eleven,  encamp,  rest  and  feed,  and  start  again  about  two; 
travel  until  six,  or  before,  if  we  come  to  a  good  tavern,  then  en- 
camp for  the  night. 

vSince  we  have  been  in  the  prairie  we  have  done  all  our  cook- 
ing. When  we  left  Libert}'  we  expected  to  take  bread  to  last  us 
part  of  the  way,  but  could  not  get  enough  to  carry  us  any  dis- 
tance. We  found  it  awkward  work  to  bake  out  of  doors  at  first, 
but  we  have  become  so  accustomed  to  it  now  we  do  it  very  easily. 

Tell  mother  I  am  a  very  good  housekeeper  on  the  prairie.  I 
wish  she  could  just  take  a  peep  at  us  while  we  are  sitting  at  our 
meals.  Our  table  is  the  ground,  our  table-cloth  is  an  India-rubber 
cloth  used  when  it  rains  as  a  cloak;  our  dishes  are  made  of  tin — 
basins  for  teacups,  iron  spoons  and  plates,  each  of  us,  and  several 
pans  for  milk  and  to  put   our  meat  in   when  we  wish  to  set  it  on 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  .  IO7 

the  table.  Each  one  carries  his  own  knife  in  his  scabbard,  and  it 
is  always  ready  for  use.  When  the  table  things  are  spread,  after 
making  our  own  forks  of  sticks  and  helping  ourselves  to  chairs, 
we  gather  around  ihe  table.  Husband  always  provides  my  seat,  and 
in  a  way  that  you  would  laugh  to  see.  Tt  is  the  fashion  of  all  this 
country  to  imitate  the  Turks.  Messrs.  Dunbar  and  Allis  have 
supped  with  us,  and  they  do  the  same.  We  take  a  blanket  and 
lay  down  by  the  table,  and  those  whose  joints  will  let  them  fol- 
low the  fashion;  others  take  out  some  of  the  baggage  (I  suppose 
you  know  that  there  is  no  stones  in  this  country;  not  a  stone  have 
I  seen  of  any  size  on  the  prairie).  For  my  part  I  fix  myself  as 
gracefully  as  I  can,  sometimes  on  a  blanket,  sometimes  on  a  box, 
just  as  it  is  convenient.  Let  me  assure  you  of  this,  we  relish  our 
food  none  the  less  for  sitting  on  the  ground  while  eating.  We 
have  tea  and  a  plenty  of  milk,  which  is  a  luxury  in  this  country. 
Our  milk  has  assisted  us  very  much  in  making  our  bread  since  we 
have  been  journeying.  While  the  Fur  Company  has  felt  the  want 
of  food,  our  milk  has  been  of  great  service  to  us;  but  it  was  con- 
siderable work  for  us  to  supply  ten  persons  with  bread  three  times 
a  day.  We  are  done  using  it  now.  What  little  flour  we  have  left 
we  shall  preserve  for  thickening  our  broth,  which  is  excellent.  I 
never  saw  any  thing  like  buffalo  meat  to  satisfy  hunger.  We  do 
not  want  any  thing  else  with  it.  I  have  eaten  three  meals  of  it 
and  it  relishes  well.  Supper  and  breakfast  we  eat  in  our  tent. 
We  do  not  pitch  it  at  noon.  Have  worship  immediately  after 
supper  and   breakfast. 

Noon. — The  face  of  the  country  today  has  been  like  that  of 
yesterday.  We  are  now  about  30  miles  above  the  forks,  and  leav- 
ing the  bluffs  for  the  river.  We  have  seen  wonders  this  forenoon. 
Herds  of  buffalo  hove  in  sight  ;  one,  a  bull,  crossed  our  trail  and 
ran  upon  the  bluffs  near  the  rear  of  the  camp.  We  took  the 
trouble  to  chase  him  so  as  to  have  a  near  view.  Sister  Spalding 
and  myself  got  out  of  the  wagon  and  ran  upon  the  bluff  to  see 
him.  This  band  was  quite  willing  to  gratify  our  curiosity,  seeing 
it  was  the  first.  Several  have  been  killed  this  forenoon.  The 
Company  keep  a  man  out  all  the  time  to  hunt  for  the  camp. 


108  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

Edward,  if  I  write  much  more  in  this  way  I  do  not  know  as 
you  can  read  it  without  great  difficulty.  I  could  tell  you  much 
more,  but  as  we  are  all  ready  to  move  again,  so  farewell  for  the 
present.  I  wish  you  were  all  here  with  us  going  to  the  dear  In- 
dians. I  have  become  very  much  attached  to  Richard  Sak-ah- 
too-ah.  'T  is  the  one  you  saw  at  our  wedding;  he  calls  me  moth- 
er; I  love  to  teach  him — to  take  care  of  him,  and  hear  them  talk. 
There  are  five  Nez  Perces  in  the  company,  and  when  they  are  to- 
gether they  chatter  finely.  Samuel  Temoni,  the  oldest  one,  has 
just  come  into  the  camp  with  the  skin  and  some  of  the  meat 
of  a  buffalo  which  he  has  killed  himself.  He  started  this  fore- 
noon of  his  own  accord.  It  is  what  they  like  dearly,  to  hunt  buf- 
falo. So  long  as  we  have  him  with  us  we  shall  be  supplied  with 
meat. 

I  am  now  writing  backwards.  Monday  morning. — I  begun  to 
say  something  here  that  I  could  not  finish.  Now  the  man  from 
the  mountains  has  come  who  will  take  this  to  the  office.  I  have 
commenced  one  to  sister  Hull  which  I  should  like  to  send  this 
time  if  I  could  finish  it.  We  have  just  met  him  and  we  have 
stopped  our  wagons  to  write  a  little.  Give  my  love  to  all.  I  have 
not  told  you  half  I  want  to.  We  are  all  in  health  this  morning 
and  making  rapid  progress  in  our  journey.  By  the  4th  of  Jul}- 
our  captain  intends  to  be  at  the  place  where  Mr.  Parker  and 
husband  parted  last  fall.  We  are  a  month  earlier  passing  here 
than  they  were  last  spring.  Husband  has  begun  a  letter  to  pa 
and  ma,  and  since  he  has  cut  his  finger  so  it  troubles  him  to 
write  to  the  rest.  As  this  is  done  in  a  hurry  I  don't  know  as  you 
can  read  it.  Tell  mother  that  if  I  had  looked  the  world  over  I 
could  not  have  found  one  more  careful  and  better  qualified  to 
transport  a  female  such  a  distance.     Husband  says,  "  stop." 

Farewell  to  all. 

Narcissa  Prentiss. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  IO9 


On  Platte  River,  30  Miles  above  the  Forks,) 

June  4th,  1836.      J 

Dear  Father  and  Mother  Prentiss: — You  will  be  anxious  to 
hear  from  us  at  this  distance  and  learn  our  situation  and  pro- 
gress. We  have  been  greatly  blest  thus  far  on  our  journey.  We 
have  had  various  trials,  it  is  true,  but  they  have  mostly  been  over- 
ruled for  our  good.  Narcissa's  health  is  much  improved  from 
what  it  was  when  she  left  N.  Y.  We  failed  of  going  from  Liberty 
to  Bellevue  as  was  expected  in  the  Fur  Co's.  steamboat.  We  were 
waiting  at  Liberty  for  the  boat  for  some  time  and  thought  we 
would  go  on  with  our  cattle,  horses  and  wagons,  and  let  Mr.  All  is 
from  the  Pawnee  agency  stay  with  the  ladies  and  go  on  the  boat. 
Accordingly  Messrs.  Spalding  and  Gray  went  on  and  I  was  to  join 
them  at  Cantonment  Leavenworth.  In  the  meantime  Mrs.  Sat- 
terlee  died  and  the  boat  passed  but  refused  to  stop  for  us.  Mr. 
Spalding  wrote  me  he  would  wait  eight  miles  the  other  side  of 
the  garrison  until  I  came  up,  so  that  when  the  boat  passed  I  did 
not  send  an  express  as  I  otherwise  should  have  done,  but  proceeded 
to  hire  a  team  to  take  us  on;  but  when  we  arrived  at  the 
garrison  he  had  crossed  the  river  and  gone  directly  on  for  Belle- 
vue and  had  been  gone  for  three  days,  which  caused  me  to  have 
to  send  an  express  for  him,  which  did  not  overtake  him  until  they 
were  within  forty  miles  of  the  Platte.  I  followed  with  the  women 
and  baggage,  with  a  hired  team.  We  met  our  teams  the  fourth 
day  on  their  return.  From  that  on  we  were  greatly  favored  with 
fair  weather,  never  having  to  encounter  any  rainstorm  or  serious 
shower.  We  have  not  been  once  wet  even  to  this  time,  and  we 
are  now  beyond  where  the  rains  fall  much  in  summer. 

We  had  several  days  delay  from  my  going  ahead  to  see  Maj. 
Dougherty's  brother,  who  was  very  sick  and  sent  for  me  when  he 
learned  I  was  coming.  It  was  Sabbath  and  we  were  within  iN 
miles  of  the  Otto  Agency,  which  is  on  the  Platte,  where  Mr. 
Dougherty  lives.  On  Monday  I  sent  the  man  who  came  for  me  af- 
ter the  party,  and  I  went  to  see  Fitzpatrick,  the  leader  of  the  Fur 
caravan,  with  whom    we  were   to   travel.     I  found  him  encamped 


IIO  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

ready  for  a  start  on  Thursday  morning,  about  25  miles  from  the 
Otto  Agency.  When  I  returned  our  party  had  not  arrived  and  did 
not  come  in  until  Wednesday,  the  man  who  was  to  pilot  them 
having  lost  his  way. 

We  had  great  difficulty  in  crossing  the  Platte  which,  together 
with  repairs  to  our  wagons,  detained  us  until  Saturday  noon,  May 
21st,  and  he  (Fitzpatrick)  had  been  gone  from  Sunday.  We  felt 
much  doubt  about  overtaking  them,  but  we  pushed  on,  and  after 
ferrying  the  Horn  in  a  skin  boat  and  making  a  very  difficult  ford 
of  the  Loup,  we  overtook  the  Company  at  a  few  miles  below  the 
Pawnee  villages  on  Wednesday  evening,  We  then  felt  that  we 
had  been  signally  blessed,  thanked  God  and  took  courage.  We 
felt  it  had  been  of  great  service  to  us  that  we  had  been  disap- 
pointed in  these  several  particulars,  particularly  as  it  tested  the 
ability  of  our  ladies  to  journey  in  this  way.  We  have  since  made 
good  progress  every  day,  and  are  now  every  way  well  situated, 
having  plenty  of  good  buffalo  meat  and  the  cordial  co-operation 
of  the  company  with  whom  we  are  journeying. 

June  6th. — We  have  just  met  the  men  by  whom  we  can  send 
letters  and  have  to  close  without  farther  particulars  or  ceremony. 

With  Christian  regards  to  your  family,  farewell. 
Yours  affectionately, 

Marcus  Whitman. 


WiELETPOO.July  4th,  1838. 

My  Dear  Sister  Perkins: — Your  letter  was  handed  me  on  the 
8th  inst.,  a  little  after  noon,  and  I  must  say  I  was  a  little  sur- 
prised to  receive  a  return  so  soon.  Surely,  we  are  near  each  other. 
You  will  be  likely  to  have  known  opportunities  of  sending  to  us, 
more  frequently  than  I  shall  your  way,  which  I  hope  you  will 
not  neglect  because  you  have  not  received  the  answer  to  yours.  I 
do  not  intend  to  be  so  long  again  in  replying  as  I  have  this  time. 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  III 

When  I  received  yours,  I  was  entirely  alone.  My  husband  had 
gone  to  brother  Spalding's  to  assist  him  in  putting  up  a  house, 
and  soon  after,  we  had  the  privilege  of  preparing  and  entertain- 
ing Mr.  and  Mrs.  McDonald  and  family  of  Colville.  They  came 
by  the  way  of  brother  Spalding's,  spent  nearly  a  week  with 
them  and  then  came  here.  They  left  here  last  Thursday,  and  are 
still  at  Walla  Walla.  Had  a  very  pleasant,  agreeable  visit  with 
them.  Find  Mrs.  McDonald  quite  an  intelligent  woman;  speaks 
English  very  well,  reads  and  is  the  principal  instructor  of  their 
children.  She  is  a  correspondent,  also,  with  myself  and  sister 
Spalding.  She  appears  more  thoughtful  upon  the  subject  of  re- 
ligion than  any  I  have  met  with  before,  and  has  some  consistent 
views.  What  her  experimental  knowledge  is,  I  am  unable  to  say. 
It  would  be  a  privilege  to  have  her  situated  near  us,  so  that  we 
could  have  frequent  intercourse;  it  would,  no  doubt  be  profitable. 

You  ask  after  my  plan  of  proceedings  with  the  Indians,  etc. 
I  wish  I  was  able  to  give  you  satisfactory  answers.  I  have  no 
plan  separate  from  my  husband's,  and  besides  you  are  mistaken 
about  the  language  being  at  command,  for  nothing  is  more  diffi- 
cult than  for  me  to  attempt  to  convey  religious  truth  in  their 
language,  especially  when  there  are  so  few,  or  no  terms  expressive 
of  the  meaning.  Husband  succeeds  much  better  than  I,  and  we 
have  good  reason  to  feel  that  so  far  as  understood,  the  truth  affects 
the  heart,  and  not  a  little,  too.  We  have  done  nothing  lor  the 
females  separately;  indeed,  our  house  is  so  small,  and  only  one 
room  to  admit  them,  and  that  is  the  kitchen.  It  is  the  men  only 
that  frequent  our  house  much..  Doubtless  you  have  been  with 
the  Indians  long  enough  to  discover  this  feature,  that  women  are 
not  allowed  the  same  privileges  with  the  men.  I  scarcely  see 
them  except  on  the  Sabbath  in  our  assemblies.  I  have  frequently 
desired  to  have  more  intercourse  with  them,  and  am  waiting  to 
have  a  room  built  for  them  and  other  purposes  of  instruction. 
Our  principal  effort  is  with  the  children  now,  and  we  find  many 
very  interesting  ones.  But  more  of  this  in  future  when  I  have 
more  time. 

Mr.  Pamburn  has  sent  a  horse  for  me    to  ride  to  his   place  to- 


112  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

morrow.  Mrs.  Pambrun  has  been  out  of  health  for  some  time, 
and  we  have  fears  that  she  will  not  recover.  As  I  have  consider- 
able preparations  to  make  for  the  visit,  must  defer  writing  more 
at  present.     In  haste,  I  subscribe   myself, 

Your  affectionate  sister  in  Christ, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 

P.  S. — I  long  to  hear  from  Mrs.  Lee. 


Walla  Walla,  nth. 

My  Dear  Sister: — I  am  still  here.  The  brigade  arrived  yester- 
day and  having  time  and  opportunity  to  send  home  for  this  letter, 
both  are  sent  by  the  return  boats.  We  have  just  received  three 
or  four  letters  from  our  friends  at  home,  they  being  the  first  news 
received  since  we  bade  them  farewell.  Find  it  good  to  know 
what  is  going  on  there,  although  all  is  not  of  a  pleasing  character. 
Our  Sandwich  Island  friends  give  us  pleasing  intelligence  of  the 
glorious  display  of  the  power  of  God   in  converting  that  heathen 

people  in  such  multitudes. 

Ever  yours, 

N.  Whitman. 
Rev.  Mrs.  H.  K.  W.  Perkins, 

Wascopum, 

La  Dalls. 


WlELETPOO,  Nov.  5th,  1838. 

My  Dear  Sister  Perkins: — I  did  not  think  when  1  received 
your  good  long  letter  that  I  should  have  delayed  until  this  time 
before  answering  it.  But  so  varied  are  the  scenes  that  have 
passed  before  me,  so  much  company  and  so  man)'  cares,  etc.,  be- 
sides writing  many  letters  home,  that  I  beg  you  will  excuse  me. 
Notwithstanding  all  this,  I  have  often,  very  of  ten,  thought  of  you 
and  wished  for  the  privilege  of  seeing  you.  I  must  confess  I  do 
not  like  quite  so  well  to  think  of  you  where  you  now  are  as  when 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  I  13 

you  were  nearer.  Why  did  you  go?  Some  of  our  sisters  here 
might  just  as  well  as  not  have  spent  a  short  season  with  you  this 
fall  (for  they  have  nothing  else  to  do,  conparatively  speaking) 
rather  than  to  have  you  and  your  dear  husband  lose  so  much 
time  from  your  interesting  field  of  labour;  and  besides  we  fear 
the  influence  of  the  climate  of  the  lower  country  upon  your 
health.  Our  prayer  is  that  the  Lord  will  deal  gently  with  you 
and  bless  and  preserve  you  to  be  a  rich  and  lasting  good  to  the 
benighted  ones  for  whom  you  have  devoted  your  life. 

How  changed  the  scene  now  with  us  at  Wieletpoo  from  what 
it  has  been  in  former  days.  Instead  of  husband  and  myself 
stalking  about  here  like  two  solitary  beings,  we  have  the  society 
of  six  of  our  brethren  and  sisters  who  eat  at  our  table  and  expect 
to  spend  the  winter  with  us.  This  is  a  privilege  we  highly  praise, 
especially  when  we  come  to  mingle  our  voices  in  prayer  and  praise 
together  before  the  mercy  seat,  and  hear  the  word  of  God  preached 
in  our  own  language  from  Sabbath  to  Sabbath,  and  to  commune 
together  around  the  table  of  our  dear  Son  and  Saviour  Jesus 
Christ.  Those  favours,  dear  sister,  almost  make  us  forget  we  are 
i>u  heathen  ground.  Since  I  last  wrote  you  we  have  enjoyed  re- 
freshing seasons  from  the  hand  of  our  Heavenly  Father  in  the 
conviction  and  conversion  of  two  or  three  individuals  in  our 
family.  Doubtless  Brother  Lee  has  given  you  the  particulars,  yet 
!  wish  to  speak  of  it  for  our  encouiagement  who  have  been  en- 
gaged in  the  concert  of  prayer  on  Tuesday  evening  for  the  year 
past.  I  verily  believe  we  have  not  prayed  in  vain,  for  our  revival 
seasons  have  been  on  that  evening,  and  I  seem  to  feel,  too,  that 
the  whole  atmosphere  in  all  Oregon,  is  effected  by  that  meeting, 
for  the  wicked  know  far  and  near,  that  there  are  those  here  who 
pray.  We  have  every  reason  to  be  assured  tha*  were  there  more 
faith  and  prayer  and  consecration  to  the  work  among  ourselves, 
we  should  witness  in  the  heathen  around  us  many  turning  to 
the  Lord.  If  I  know  my  own  heart  I  think  I,  too,  desire  to  be 
freed  from  so  many  worldly  cares  and  perplexities,  and  that  my 
time  may  be  spent  in  seeking  the  immediate  conversion  of  these 
dear    heathen  to    God.     O,  what  a  thought    to  think  of    meeting 


114  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

them  among  the  blood-washed  throng  around  the  throne  of  God! 
Will  not  their  songs  be  as  sweet  as  any  we  can  sing?  What  joy 
will  then  fill  our  souls  to  contemplate  the  privilege  we  now  enjoy 
of  spending  and  being  spent  for  their  good.  If  we  were  constantly 
to  keep  our  eyes  on  the  scenes  that  are  before  us,  we  should 
scarcely  grow  weary  in  well  doing,  or  be  disheartened  by  the  few 
trials  and  privations  through  which  we  are  called  to  pass. 

Dear  sister,  I  have  written  in  great  haste  and  hope  you  will 
excuse  me.  Wishing  and  expecting  to  hear  from  you  soon,  of 
your  prosperity  and  happiness,  with  much  love  and  sisterly 
affection  to  you  and  yours,  believe    me, 

Ever  yours  in  the   best   of  bonds, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Rev.  Mrs.  H.  K.  W.  Perkins, 

Wallamette. 


WiELETPOO,  Feb.  18th,  1839. 

My  Dear-  Sister:—!  received  your  letter  last  week,  although 
written  in  Dec.  We  had  some  time  ago  the  pleasure  of  reading  of 
your  husband's  visit  to  the  Willamette,  in  an  acccount  which  he 
gives  the  particulars  relative  to  the  protracted  meeting  there.  Be 
assured  we  rejoiced  with  you  and  angels  in  heaven  at  such  a  glor- 
ious display  of  the  power  of  our  God,  and  stretch  out  our  hearts 
to  desire  a  like  blessing  upon  ourselves  and  our  heathen  neigh- 
bors. 

I  am  much  interested  in  the  people  at  Vancouver,  and  am 
pleased  to  hear  of  the  ladies'  improvement,  and  earnestly  hope  the 
good  work  may  extend  to  that  place  also,  and  jthat  your  deten- 
tion there  may  result  in  great  good  to  many  souls. 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  115 

• 
The  Lord  will   take  care  of  those  Roman  priests  there.     It  is 

doubtless  for  some  wise  purpose  he  has  permitted  them  to  enter 
this  country.  May  we  be  wise  and  on  the  alert,  and  show  our- 
selves as  true,  faithful,  energetic  in  our  Master's  work  as  they  do, 
and  we  shall  have  no  cause  to  fear,  for  there  are  more  for  us  than 
against  us.  I  trust  it  has  had  some  influence  upon  us,  their  pres- 
ence in  this  country;  at  least  we  feel  it  our  duty  to  use  every 
possible  effort  to  obtain  the  language  of  the  people,  and  not  hav- 
ing as  good  an  opportunity  amid  the  cares  of  our  family  as  we 
could  wish,  we,  husband,  self  and  little  Alice,  left  our  dwelling 
and  went  about  sixty-five  miles  to  a  camp  of  Indians,  in  January, 
and  was  gone  nearly  three  weeks,  and  received  much  benefit.  Pre- 
vious to  this,  husband  had  been  over  to  Brother  S.'s  to  attend  a  pro- 
tracted meeting,  held  at  the  same  time  with  yours  at  the  W.  And 
now  we  are  on  the  eve  of  another  departure.  We  expect  to-mor- 
row morn  to  start  on  a  visit  to  Brother  S.'s  to  attend  a  meeting  of 
the  mission,  and  also  another  protracted  meeting  with  the  Indians, 
when  it  is  expected  that  nearly  all  the  Nez  Perces  will  be  present. 
We  feel  deeply  anxious  for  our  people,  and  it  seems  sometimes  as 
if  the  blessing  was  almost  within  reach  for  them,  but  it  is  with- 
held, and  doubtless  because  the  Lord  sees  that  we  are  not  pre- 
pared to  receive  it.  O,  for  that  deep  humility,  strong  faith,  re- 
pentance and  union  of  soul  in  prayer  which  was  the  secret  of  suc- 
cess in  your  meeting,  and  which  characterizes  every  revival  of  re- 
ligion. But  1  must  be  excused  from  writing  more  at  this  time. 
Shall  want  to  hear  from  you  just  as  soon  as  you  shall  have  ar- 
rived home.  Should  judge  from  sister  Walker's  letter  from  you 
that  the  dear  little  babe,  Henry  Johnson,  had  got  considerable 
hold  of  its  mother's  affections  already.  Precious  trust,  that,  dear 
sister — an  immortal  mind  to  rear  for  Eternity.  The  Lord  bless 
you  and  give  you  grace  and  wisdom  to  train  that  child  for  His 
glory,  both  in  this  world  and  hereafter,  and  make  you  feel  contin- 
ually that,  what  ever  you  do  for  him,  you  do  it  as  belonging  to 
the  Lord,  as  given  to  Him  and  only  a  lent  blessing  to  you,  to  train 
up  for  Him.     But  more  of  this  another  time. 


Il6  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

With  kind  regards  to  your  husband  and  Brother  Lee,  who  we 
hope  is  again  cheered  with  the  society  of  his  fellow  associates 
by  this  time,  and  a  kiss  for  the  little  one, 

I  ani  your  affectionate  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 

P.  S. — Mrs.  VJ.  will  tell  you  her  stor}'  herself  as  she  has  more 
time  than  I  at  present. 

c-w,  N-w- 

Rev.  Mrs.  Perkins, 

Wascopum. 

Care  of 

Lieut.  P.  C.  Pambrun, 

Fort  Walla  Walla. 


WiELETPOO,  March  23,  1S39. 

My  Dear  Sister : — Yours  of  theSth  inst.  I  received  the  evening 
of  my  return  to  this  place  from  Clearwater.  It  had  been  waiting 
me  but  a  day  or  two,  I  believe.  I  am  happy  to  hear  that  you  are 
once  more  so  near  us  again.  I  received  a  hint  from  Sister  White 
in  her  last  letter  that  yourself  and  husband  were  on  the  way,  or 
soon  would  be,  to  pay  us  a  visit.  I  fear  my  last  letter  informing 
you  of  my  absence  has  discouraged  your  coming.  Had  I  received 
the  least  intimation  that  it  were  possible  for  you  to  visit  us  while 
our  sisters  were  all  here,  I  would  have  been  at  home  without  fail. 
The  open  winter  and  spring  has  made  it  more  favourable  for 
them  to  leave  for  the  upper  station  much  earlier  than  was  ex- 
pected. They  left  the  first  of  March  just  before  I  returned.  We 
tnet  them,  however,  on  the  Palouse,  after  they  had  been  out  five 
<la\s.  All  was  well;  the  babe  was  enduring  the  journey  as  well  as 
could  be  expected.  I  hope  you  will  still  think  of  coming  this 
season.     We  shall  be  happy  to  see  you. 

I  visited  Mrs.  Pambrun  on   Monday  of  this  week — found  her 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  117 

in  much  better  health  than  I  once  feared  she  ever  would  be 
again.  She  certainly  talks  English  very  well.  I  found  myself 
able  to  obtain  all  the  information  concerning  Vancouver  I  could 
wish.  Maria  has  been  with  me  a  short  time,  and  for  her  sake  I 
would  have  been  happy  to  have  had  her  remain  longer;  but  she 
could  not  be  persuaded  to  stay  from  her  mother  any  longer.  We 
have  a  daughter  of  Mr.  McKay's  with  us  now — for  little  more 
than  a  year.  She  improves  very  much  and  promises  to  make  a  . 
valuable  person  if  she  can  be  kept  long  enough. 

You  wished  me  to  write  something  about  my  little  girl.  I  do 
not  know  what  to  tell  you  than  to  say  she  is  a  large,  healthy  and 
strong  child,  two  years  old  the  14th  of  this  month.  She  talks 
both  Nez  Perces  and  English  quite  fluently,  and  is  much  inclined 
to  read  her  book  with  the  children  of  the  family,  and  sings  all 
our  Nez  Perces  hymns  and  several  in  English.  Her  name  is  Alice 
Clarissa.  You  dreamed  of  seeing  her,  you  say.  I  hope  it  will  be 
a  reality  soon,  for  I  am  very  anxious  to  see  young  Henry  John- 
son, too.  I  am  glad  he  learns  to  bear  the  yoke  so  well,  not  in  his 
youth,  but  in  his  infancy.  Exposures  in  journeyings  in  this 
country  appear  to  be  a  benefit  rather  than  an  injury  to  our  chil- 
dren. I  have  taken  several  with  Alice,  and  they  have  generally 
been  in  the  winter.  When  she  was  nine  months  old  we  went  to 
Brother  Spalding's  to  attend  upon  our  sister  at  the  birth  of  their 
child.  It  was  in  November,  and  we  returned  in  December  by 
way  of  Snake  river,  in  a  canoe.  It  was  a  tedious  voyage,  but  we 
neither  of  us  received  any  injury. 

We  intend  to  be  very  free  from  worldly  cares  this  season,  and 
apply  ourselves  entirely  to  the  missionary  work  of  studying  the 
language  and  teaching.  After  our  successful  trial  of  last  winter's 
encamping  with  the  Indians  husband  feels  that  he  has  n'o  excuse 
for  not  taking  me  again  and  again,  and  I  can  make  no  objec- 
tion, notwithstanding  it  would  be  far  easier  for  me  to  stay  at 
home  with  my  child,  and  perhaps  better  for  her;  but  the  roving 
habits  of  the  Indians  make  it  necessary  for  us  either  to  do  so,  or 
else  spend  the  greater  part  of  our  time  alone,  during  their  ab- 
from  the  Station.     Husband  is  appointed  to  commence  an  out-sta- 


Il8  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

tion  on  the  Snake  river  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tukanon,  and  besides 
spending  some  time  there  during  the  fishing  season,  we  intend 
to  go  to  Grand  Round  with  the  Kayuses. 

Brother  and  Sister  Smith  will  probably  go  somewhere  in  the 
heart  of  the  Nez  Perce  country,  beyond  Brother  Spalding's,  in  or- 
der to  commence  translating  the  Scriptures  immediately.  We 
find  work  enough  to  do  for  all  hands,  and  our  daily  prayer  is 
that  God  will  pour  out  His  spirit  on  these  benighted  minds  and 
turn  their  darkness  into  light,  and  make  them  His. 

I  hope  you  will  continue  to  write  often  and  freely.  I  do  not 
see  how  you  get  along  and  learn  so  many  languages.  What  is 
the  particular  benefit?  We  hear  many  spoken,  but  we  intend  to 
learn  only  one,  and  make  that  the  general  one  for  the  country. 
We  are  all  enjoying  good  health.  Received  a  letter  from  Sister 
Spalding  saying  that  Sister  Gray  was  happily  the  mother  of  a 
little  son — had  a  remarkably  short  and  easy  sickness  and  is  doing 
well.     The  *babe  weighed  nine  pounds. 

Please  give  my  kind  regards  to  your  husband  and  Brother 
Lee.  Hope  he  finds  the  monotony  of  Wascopam  much  changed 
by  the  return  of  its  former  occupants,  particularly  when  there  is 
such  a  pleasing  addition. 


Yours  in  love, 

N.  Whitman. 


Rev.  Mrs.  Perkins, 

Wascopam. 


Wieletpoo,  Walla  Walla  River,  Oregon  Territory,  \ 

May  17th,  1839.      i 

My  Dear  Jane : — This  is  a  late  hour  for  me  to  commence  my 
home  correspondence.  Yesterday  Mr.  Ermatinger,  who  com- 
mands the  expedition  instead  of  Mr.  McLeod  and  McKay,  left 
here,  after  spending  a  night  with  us,  for  the  mountains.  We  have 

*Capt.  J.  H.  D.  Gray,  of  Astoria. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  119 

felt  much  uncertainty  about  letters  sent  this  way  reaching  you, 
this  year.  There  is  some  doubt  in  Mr.  E.'s  mind  about  his  being 
able  to  go  as  far  as  the  American  Rendevous;  if  he  does  not,  there 
probably  will  be  no  one  to  take  them  and  bear  them  on,  and  it 
must  be  a  known  hand,  too,  for  it  is  not  safe  to  trust  letters  to 
those  reckless  beings  who  inhabit  the  Rocky  Mountain's.  Besides 
this  reason,  we  have  b°en  so  much  on  the  wing  since  the  first  day 
of  January,  that  it  has  not  been  easy  to  write.  If  you  have  re- 
ceived my  fall  letters,  they  will  show  you  where  and  how  we  were 
situated  for  the  winter.  In  December,  just  three  months  afteu 
the  arrival  of  the  re-enforcement,  Mrs.  Walker  gave  birth  to  a  fine 
son,  here  in  our  house.  Mr.  Smith  had  but  just  removed  into  the 
new  house  built  last  fall  and  winter  after  my  husband's  return 
from  Vancouver.  She  did  not  recover  without  three  relapses;  suf- 
fered much  from  sore  breasts  and  nipples,  and  what  to  me  would 
be  the  greatest  affliction,  no  nipples  at  all.  Her  poor  babe  had  to 
depend  upon  a  foreign  native  nurse  or  milk  from  the  cows. 

Mrs.  Gray  had  a  son  born  in  March,  the  twentieth — recovered 
in  a  short  time. 

I  said  to  you  that  we  had  been  on  the  wing.  January  the  first 
day,  husband  started  to  go  to  Brother  Spalding's  to  attend  a  pro- 
tracted meeting;  after  the  close,  and  on  his  return,  he  formed  a 
plan  of  going  and  living  with  the  Indians  for  the  benefit  of  having 
free  access  to  the  language  and  to  be  free  from  care  and  company. 
He  had  no  difficulty  to  persuade  me  to  accompany  him,  for  I  was 
nearly  exhausted,  both  in  body  and  mind,  in  the  labour  and  care 
of  our  numerous  family.  Accordingly  we  left  home  on  the  23rd 
of  January.  It  was  about  fifty  miles  from  our  place;  we  arrived 
on  the  third  day;  had  a  pleasant  journey  and  quite  warm  for  the 
season  of  the  year;  we  slept  in  a  tent  and  made  a  fire  before  the 
mouth  of  it.  We  had  not  been  there  but  two  or  three  days  before 
it  became  very  cold  and  snowed  some.  This  with  the  smoke 
made  Alice  cry  some,  and  we  were  obliged  to  put  up  a  lodge 
around  the  fire  at  the  mouth  of  the  tent  to  prevent  the  smoke 
from  troubling  us.     While   there  I   attempted  to  write  you  about 


120  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNJON 

us,  but  was  soon  obliged  to  give   it  up.     I  will  make  one  extract 
from  what  I  did  write  : 

"Sab.  at  Tukanon,  Jan.  27,  1S39. — This  has  been  a  day  of  pe- 
culiar interest  here.  Could  you  have  been  an  eye  witness  of  the 
scenes  you  would,  as  I  do,  have  rejoiced  in  being  thus  privileged. 
The  morning  worship  at  daybreak  I  did  not  attend.  At  midday 
I  was  present.  Husband  talked  to  them  of  the  parable  of  the  rich 
man  and  Lazarus;  all  listened  with  eager  attention.  After 
prayer  and  singing,  an  opportunity  was  given  for  those  who  had 
heavy  hearts  under  a  sense  of  sin,  and  only  those,  to  speak  if  they 
wished  it.  For  a  few  moments  all  6at  in  silence;  soon  a  promi- 
nent and  intelligent  man  named  Timothy  broke  the  silence  with 
sobs  weeping.  He  arose,  spoke  of  his  great  wickedness,  and  how 
very  black  his  heart  was;  how  weak  and  insufficient  he  was  of 
himself  to  effect  his  own  salvation;  that  his  only  dependence 
was  in  the  blood  of  Christ  to  make  him  clean  and  save  his  soul 
from  sin  and  hell.  He  was  followed  by  a  brother,  who  spoke 
much  to  the  same  effect.  Next  came  the  wives  of  the  first  and  of 
the  second,  who  seemed  to  manifest  deep  feelings.  Several  others 
followed;  one  in  particular,  while  confessing  her  sins,  her  tears 
fell  to  the  ground  so  copiously  that  I  was  reminded  of  the  weep- 
ing "  Mary  who  washed  her  Saviour's  feet  with  her  tears."  All 
manifested  much  deep  feeling;  some  in  loud  sobs  and  tears;  oth- 
ers in  anxious  and  solemn  countenance.  You  can  better  imagine 
my  feelings  than  I  can  describe  them  on  witnessing  such  a  scene 
in  heathen  lands.  They  bad  but  recently  come  from  the  meeting 
at  Brother  Spalding's.  We  know  not  their  hearts  or  motives  of 
action,  but  our  sincere  prayer  is  that  they  all  may  be  gathered  to 
His  fold  as  the  children  of  His  flock. 

"  O,  my  dear  Jane,  could  you  see  us  here  this  beautiful  eve, 
the  full  moon  shining  in  all  her  splendor,  clear,  yet  freezing  cold, 
my  little  one  sleeping  by  my  side,  husband  at  worship  with  the 
people  within  hearing,  and  I  sitting  in  the  "  door  of  the  tent" 
writing,  with  my  usual  clothing  except  a  shawl,  and  handker- 
chief on  my  head,  and  before  me  a  large  comfortable  fire  in  the 
open  air.     Do  you   think   we  suffer?     No,  dear  Jane;  I   have  not 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  121 

realized  so  much  enjoyment  for  a  long  time  as  1  have  since  I 
have  been  here.  I  know  mo  her  will  say  it  is  presumption  for 
them  to  expose  themselves  and  that  child  to  the  inclemencies  of 
such  a  season.  We  are  all  much  better  prepared  to  endure  and 
secured  from  the  cold  than  any  we  see  about  us,  and  ought  not 
to  say  we  suffer;  and  besides,  Alice's  health  has  improved  since 
she  left  the  house.  But  the  advantages  we  expect  to  derive  from 
associations  with  and  benefiting  them  will  more  than  compen- 
sate us  for  the  little  inconvenience  we  now  experience.  The 
meeting  is  closed  and  I  write  no  more." 

I  was  not  able  to  write  more  after  this.  We  stayed  into  the 
third  week  and  were  necessarily  called  home  sooner  than  was  ex- 
pected. We  had  been  home  but  just  a  week  when  husband  was 
called  to  attend  the  meeting  of  our  mission.  I  was  permitted  to 
accompany  him.  We  started  on  Tuesday  noon  in  a  rainstorm, 
and  reached  there  on  Friday  a  little  after  noon,  making  no  miles' 
in  three  days  on  horseback,  Alice  riding  with  her  father.  This 
was  in  Feb.  In  March  we  returned,  but  not  in  the  same  way. 
Here  F  think  I  must  stop,  for  if  I  should  go  into  particulars  it 
would  take  more  time  than  1  can  command  at  present. 

.Mr.  Hall  and  wife  have  arrived  from  the  Sandwich  Islands. 
They  have  come  for  the  benefit  of  Mrs.  H.'s  health;  brought  a 
printing  press,  which  is  stationed  at  Mr.  S.'s,  and  next  week  hus- 
band expects  to  go  there  to  make  arrangements  for  the  benefit  of 
Mrs.  H.'s  health.  She  is  affected  with  a  spinal  irritation  and  ap- 
pears just  like  L.  Linslev;  sits  up  but  very  little;  was  carried 
there  in  a  boat  up  the  Snake  river.  He  thinks  he  can  cure  her. 
He  has  had  several  cases  since  he  has  been  here,  all  with  good 
success.  Others  write  us  if  Mrs.  Hall  is  benefited,  they  will  prob- 
ably come.  We  feel  closely  united  to  that  mission.  Our  number 
of  correspondents  increase.  Mrs.  Judd  and  Mrs.  Whitney  write  l<> 
me. 

The  Indians  we  encamped  with  were  Xez  Perces.  The  most 
of  them  were  not  so  hardened  in  sin;  or,  rather,  they  were  not  so 
proud  a  people  as  our  people,  the  Wieletpoos,  are;  the  most  of  ours 
have  been  absent  during  the  winter,  and    returned   just    the    time 


122  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

we  returned  from  Tukanon.  Husband  spent  more  than  usual 
time  in  worship  and  instructing  them,  and  instead  of  yielding  to 
the  truth  they  oppose  it  vigourously,  and  to  this  day  some  of 
them  continue  to  manifest  bitter  opposition. 

You  know  not  how  much  we  are  expecting  Brother  and  Sister 
Judson,  and  if  we  do  not  see  him  in  July  by  the  ship,  I  shall  feel 
that  he  is  coming  across  the  mountains  with  Brother  Lee.  We 
need  help  very  much,  and  those  who  will  pray,  too.  In  this  we 
have  been  disappointed  in  our  helpers  last  come,  particularly  the 
two  Revs,  who  have  gone  to  the  Flatheads.  They  think  it  not 
good  to  have  too  many  meetings,  too  many  prayers,and  that  it  is 
wrong  and  unseemly  for  a  woman  to  pray  where  there  are  men, 
and  plead  the  necessity  for  wine,  tobacco,  etc.;  and  now  how  do 
you  think  I  have  lived  with  such  folks  right  in  my  kitchen  for 
the  whole  winter?  If  you  can  imagine  my  feelings  you  will  do 
more  than  I  can  describe.  To  have  such  dampers  thrown  upon  us 
when  we  were  enjoying  such  a  precious  revival  season  as  we  were 
when  they  came,  is  more  than  I  know  how  to  live  under.  This,  with 
so  much  care  and  perplexity,  nearly  cost  me  a  fit  of  sickness;  and 
I  do  not  know  but  it  would  have  taken  my  life  had  it  not  been 
for  the  journey  I  was  permitted  to  take  the  last  of  the  winter. 
What  I  write  here  had  better  be  kept  to  yourselves  lest  it  should 
do  injury. 

We  have  just  this  moment  received  the  news  that  the  ship 
from  England  had  arrived,  but  has  brought  no  letters  for  us  from 
our  dear  friends,  because  the  ships  had  not  arrived  from  the  States 
to  the  Islands  when  she  passed.  We  know  not  when  we  shall 
hear  from  home.  I  do  not  know  where  to  send  this  because  you 
say  you  visit  Onondaga  next  summer.  O,  how  I  long  to  hear 
about  them  there.  O,  that  you  would  all  write  me,  and  each  take 
a  different  subject,  so  as  to  tell  me  all  the  news  you  can. 

With  much  love  from  husband,  Alice  and  myself  to  you  all 
and  all  with  whom  you  are  concerned,  adieu. 

Your  sister,  in  haste, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  I  23 

P.  S. — A.  C.  talks  much,  sings  much,  loves  to  read  her  book,  and 
every  morning  at  worship  repeats  her  verse  as  regularly  as  morning 
comes;  and  appears  to  take  a  part  in  the  worship,  especially  in 
the  singing,  as  if  she  was  as  old  as  her  mother;  and  often  is  very 
much  disappointed  if  we  do  not  give  the  tunes  she  is  acquainted 
with;  and  she  and  her  mother  often  talk  about  her  relatives  in 
the  States.  I  might  write  half  a  sheet  about  our  dear  daughter, 
but  have  not  time.  Mr.  Hall  says  much  to  us  about  the  evils  of 
allowing  her  to  learn  the  native  language,  as  well  as  our  corres- 
pondents there.  I  can  assure  you  we  feel  deeplv  for  her.  We 
know  not  what  is  our  duty  concerning  her.  In  order  to  prevent 
it  it  appears  that  I  must  take  much  of  my  time  from  intercourse 
with  the  natives.  I  cast  myself  upon  the  Lord.  I  know  He  will 
direct  in  every  emergency,  and  so  farewell.  Pray  for  us  and  the 
heathen.  We  hope  and  pray  for  a  revival  of  religion.  If  our  own 
hearts  were  united  and  right  we  should  see  it  soon,  and  a  general 
one,  too.  M.  W. 

N.  W. 

A.  C.  W. 
Miss  Jane  A.  Prentiss, 

Quincy, 

Illinois. 


Wihletpoo,  June  25th,  1839. 

My  Dear  Sister: — Your  letter  of  April  inst.  I  received  but  a 
few  days  ago,  or  it  would  have  been  answered  much  sooner.  You 
make  some  important  inquiries  concerning  my  treatment  of  my 
precious  child,  Alice  Clarissa,  now  laying  by  me  a  lifeless  lump  of 
clay.  Yes,  of  her  I  loved  and  watched  so  tenderly,  I  am  bereaved. 
My  Jesus  in  love  to  her  and  us  has  taken  her  to  himself. 

Last  Sabbath,  blooming  in  health,  cheerful  and  happy  in 
herself  and  in  the  society  of  her  much  loved  parents,  yet  in  one 
moment  she  disappeared,  went  to  the  river  with  two  cups  to  get 
some  water  for  the  table,  fell  in  and  was  drowned.  Mysterious 
event!  we  can  in  no  wav  account  for  the  circumstances  connected 


124  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL    REUNION 

with  it,  otherwise  than  that  the  Lord  meant  it  should  be  so, 
Husband  and  I  were  both  engaged  in  reading.  She  had  just  a 
few  minutes  before  been  reading  to  her  father;  had  got  down  out 
of  his  lap,  and  as  my  impression,  was  amusing  herself  by  the  door 
in  the  yard.  After  a  few  moments,  not  hearing  her  voice,  I  sent 
Margaret  to  search  for  her.  She  did  not  find  her  readily,  and  in- 
stead of  coming  to  me  to  tell  that  she  had  not  found  her,  she 
went  to  the  garden  to  get  some  radishes  for  supper;  on  seeing  her 
pass  to  the  water  to  wash  them,  I  looked  to  see  if  Alice  was  with 
her,  but  saw  that  she  was  not.  That  moment  I  began  to  be 
alarmed,  for  Mungo  had  just  been  in  and  said  there  were  two  cups 
in  the  river.  We  immediately  inquired  for  her,  but  no  one  had 
seen  her.  We  then  concluded  she  must  be  in  the  river.  We 
searched  down  the  river,  and  up  and  down  again  in  wild  dismay, 
but  could  not  find  her  for  a  long  time.  Several  were  in  the  river 
searching  far  down.  By  this  time  we  gave  her  up  for  dead.  At 
last  an  old  Indian  got  into  the  river  where  she  fell  in  and  looked 
along  by  the  shore  and  found  her  a  short  distance  below.  But  it 
was  too  late;  she  was  dead.  We  made' every  effort  possible  to 
bring  her  to  life,  but  all  was  in  vain.  On  hearing  that  the  cups 
were  in  the  river,  I  resolved  in  my  mind  how  they  could  get 
there,  for  we  had  not  missed  them.  By  the  time  I  reached  the 
water-side  and  saw  where  they  were,  it  came  to  my  recollection 
that  I  had  a  glimpse  of  her  entering  the  house  and  saying,  with 
her  usual  glee,  "ha,  ha,  supper  is  most  ready"  (for  the  table  had 
just  been  set),  "let  Alice  get  some  water,"  at  the  same  time  taking 
two  cups  from  the  table  and  disappearing.  Being  absorbed  in 
reading  I  did  not  see  her  or  think  anything  about  her — which 
way  she  went  to  get  her  water.  I  had  never  known  her  to  go  to 
the  river  or  to  appear  at  all  venturesome  until  within  a  week  past. 
Previous  to  this  she  has  been  much  afraid  to  go  near  the  water 
anywhere,  for  her  father  had  once  put  her  in,  which  so  effectually 
frightened  her  that  we  had  lost  that  feeling  of  anxiety  for  her  in 
a  measure  on  its  account.  But  she  had  gone;  yes,  and  because  my 
Saviour  would  have  it  so.  He  saw  it  necessary  to  afflict  us,  and 
has  taken  her  away.  Now  we  see  how  much  we  loved  her,  and 
you  know  the  blessed  Saviour  will    not  have  His  children   bestow 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 25 

an  undue  attachment  upon  creature  objects  without  reminding 
us  of  His  own  superior  claim  upon  our  affections.  Take  warning, 
dear  sister,  by  our  bereavement  that  you  do  not  let  your  dear  babe 
get  between  your  heart  and  the  Saviour,  for  you  like  us,  are  sol- 
itary and  alone  and  in  almost  the  dangerous  necessity  of  loving 
too  ardently  the  precious  gift,  to  the  neglect  of  the  giver. 

Saturday  evening,  29 — After  ceasing  effort  to  restore  our  dear 
babe  to  life,  we  immediately  sent  for  Brother  Spalding  and  others 
to  come  to  sympathize  and  assist  in  committing  to  the  grave  her 
earthly  remains.  Tuesday  afternoon  Mr.  Hall  reached  here.  Mr. 
S.  and  wife  took  a  boat  and  came  down  the  river  to  Walla  Walla, 
and  reached  here  Thursday  morning,  nine  o'clock,  and  we  buried 
her  that  afternoon,  just  four  days  from  the  time  her  happy- 
spirit  took  its  flight  to  the  bosom  of  her  Saviour.  When  I  write 
again,  I  will  give  you  some  particulars  of  her  short  life,  which 
are  deeply  interesting  to  me,  and  will  be  to  you,  I  trust,  for  you, 
too,  are  acquainted  with  a  mother's  feelings  and  a  mother's  heart. 

Probably  we  may  return  to  Clearwater  with  Brother  and 
Sister  S.,  as  it  is   necessary  for  my   husband  to  go  on  business  for 

the  mission.  Dear  sister,  do  pray  for  me  in  this  trying  bereave- 
ment, for  supporting  grace  to  bear  without  murmuring  thought, 
the  dealings  of  the  blessed  God  inward  us,  and  that  it  may  be 
sanctified  to  the  good  of  our  souls  and  of  these  heathen  around 
us. 

O!  on  what  a  tender  thread  hangs  these  mortal  frames*,  and 
how  soon  we  vanish  and  are  gone.  She  will  not  come  to  me,  but 
I  shall  sm  hi  go  to  her.  Let  me  speak  to  you  of  the  great  mercj 
of  my  Redeemer  toward  one  so  unworthy.  You  know  not,  neither 
can  I  tell  you,  how  much  He  comforts  and  sustains  me  in  this 
trying  moment.  He  enables  me  to  say,  "The  Lord  gave  and  the 
Lord  hath  taken  away,  blessed,  ever  blessed,  be  the  name  of  the 
Lord." 

Sister  Spalding  sends  love  to  you  and  will  write   you  soon. 

In  haste,  as  ever  your  affectionate,  but  now  afflicted  sister  in 
Christ,  N.  Whitman'. 

Rev.  Mrs.  II.  K.  W.  Perkins, 

Wascopum. 


126  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

WlELETPOO,  July  26th,  1839. 

Very  Dear  Sister: — You  know  not  how  like  an  angel's  visit 
your  dear  husband's  presence  has  been  to  me,  now  in  my  truly 
lonely  situation,  for  my  dear  husband  has  been  absent  for  a  week. 
This  added  to  the  death  of  my  precious  Alice  has  almost  over- 
come me.  He  proposes  to  leave  early  in  the  morning;  I  would 
gladly  detain  him  if  I  could  till  my  husband's  return.  I  thought 
I  must  write  a  few  lines  to  endeavor  to  persuade  you  to  under- 
take a  visit  to  us  when  he  comes  to  go  to  the  general  meeting.  I 
think  I  have  removed  all  his  objections  and  made  it  appear  easy 
for  him  to  carry  your  dear  babe.  Now  if  you  knew  how  easy  we 
get  along  in  traveling  with  children,  you  would  not  hesitate  for 
a  moment.  I  need  not  say  that  I  want  to  see  you  very  much  and 
shall  expect  you  will  come,  and  we  will  go  together  to  brother 
Spalding's.  Do  come;  it  will  do  you  good;  it  will  do  us  all  good 
to  meet  together  and  mingle  our  prayers  and  tears  before  the 
throne  of  grace. 

I  have  been  talking  to  your  husband  much  about  Alice. 
When  I  see  you  I  can  tell  you  all.  I  am  not  able  to  say  any- 
thing about  her  now  for  want  of  time.  It  would  do  me  much 
good  to  see  little  Henry,  and  I  shall  feel  that  you  will  come  and 
will  have  no  occasion  to  regret  or  feel  that  you  have  lost  time  by 
it.  We  shall  expect  to  have  a  meeting  of  our  National  Associa- 
tion, which  we  anticipate  will  be  interesting  to  us  all,  especiall}- 
mothers. 

You  will  excuse  this  hasty  note,  I  trust.  I  will  write  more 
next  time,  if  you    do  not  come. 

Believe  me  ever  your  affectionate  sister  in  the  Lord. 

N.  Whitman. 

P.  S. — I  ought  to  have  said  before  this  that  your  kind  and 
sympathizing  letter  was  a  cordial  to  my  afflicted  heart.  Remem- 
ber me  to  Brother  Lee  and. kiss  the  babe  for  me. 

N.  W. 
Rev.  Mrs.  H.  K.  W.  Perkins, 

Wascopum. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 27 


Waiilatpu,  Jan.  1st,  1840. 

My  Dear  Sister  Perkins: — I  have  been  trying  to  imagine  a  rea- 
son for  so  long  silence,  for  I  have  received  no  letters  from  you 
since  writing  my  two  last.  Hope  you  have  not  been  sick.  You 
have  had  much  company,  I  know,  as  well  as  we  here.  We  hear 
from  you,  notwithstanding,  and  our  hearts  greatly  rejoice  to  learn 
of  the  success  of  your  labours  there.  Brother  Hall  has  favoured  us 
with  the  perusal  of  your  husband's  letters.  O,  that  we  could  be 
with  3'ou  in  the  gracious  visitations.  My  soul  longs,  yea,  thirsts, 
for  seasons  like  many  I  have  been  witness  and  partaker  of,  in  my 
native  land.  I  am  tired  of  living  at  this  poor  dying  rate.  To  be 
a  missionary  in  name  and  to  do  so  little  or  nothing  for  the  bene- 
fit of  heathen  souls,  is  heart-sickening.  I  sometimes  almost  wish  to 
give  my  place  to  others  who  can  do  more  for  their  good.  With  us 
we  need  more  prayer  and  lioly  living.  But  with  our  hearts  divid- 
ed between  our  appropriate  missionary  work  and  getting  a  living, 
how  can  we  expect  it  otherwise? — yet  this  is  no  excuse.  We  think 
of  you  often,  and  daily  are  you  remembered  at  the  Throne  of  Grace. 
We  rejoice  that  our  Indians  attend  your  meetings.  O,  that  their 
hardened  hearts  might  be  touched  by  the  power  of  Divine  Truth, 
and  they  be  made  to  taste  the  dying  and  redeeming  love.  A  very 
few  are  with  us  for  the  winter  and  I  have  a  school  of  about  twen- 
ty. Their  being  absent  so  much  of  the  time  is  exceedingly  try- 
ing to  us.  Do  write  me  and  let  me  learn  how  you  enjoy  the  prec- 
ious seasons  your  husband  writes  of. 

How  does  young  Henry  do?  Sweet  babe,  I  should  like  dearly 
to  see  him  and  his  mother,  also.     Sister  Spalding  has  a  son. 

Kind  regards  to  your  husband  and  believe  me  as  ever, 

Your  affectionate  sister,  in  bonds  of  Christian  love, 

N.  Whitman. 


128  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 


Waiilatpu,  W.  W.  River,  Oregon  Territory, 

Oct.  ioth, 


liTory,  1 
1840.      f 


My  Dear  Father: — It  does  us  a  great  deal  of  good  to  receive 
letters  from  our  dear  parents,  although  it  is  no  oftener  than  once 
in  two  years.  I  am  sorry  my  letters  are  so  long  in  reaching  home, 
and  can  see  no  good  reason  for  it, especially  after  they  get  into 
the  States.  I  write  twice  a  year  regularly  many  letters,  but  do  not 
receive  answers  to  all  I  write.  I  am  happy  to  hear  that  father 
and  mother  have  found  a  permanent  resting  place  and  did  not  re- 
move to  the  west.  It  is  a  pleasure  to  me  to  think  of  them  as  sta- 
tionary and  not  moving  about.  It  does  us  good  to  know  all  the 
particulars  about  those  we  love,  and  we  may  rest  assured  that  the 
Lord  will  take  care  of  them,  and  not  leave  them  to  suffer  when 
old  age  is  upon  them.  We  have  recently  heard  much  about  home 
and  friends  from  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Littlejohn,  who  are  now  with  us. 
She  was  the  Miss  Sadler  that  lived  a,^ Brother  Hall's,  when  I  left. 
It  makes  me  leel  quite  acquainted  with  home  scenes  once  more. 
It  is  good  to  associate  with  warm-hearted  revival  Christians  on?e 
more.  We  have  none  in  our  mission  of  as  high-toned  piety  as  we 
could  wish,  especially  among  those  who  came  in  our  last  re-en- 
forcements. They  think  it  is  wrong  for  females  to  pray  in  the  pres- 
ence of  men,  and  do  not  allow  it  even  in  our  small  circles  here. 
This  has  been  a  great  trial  to  me,  and  I  have  almost  sunk  under 
it.  Mr.  Clark  and  company  have  been  with  us  now  for  nearly 
two  mouths  past,  and  we  have  had  many  precious  seasons  of 
prayer  and  social  worship  together,  which  seems  like  revival  sea- 
sons at  home  that  I  used  to  enjoy. 

We  wish  they  had  come  out  under  the  Board,  both  for  our 
sakes,  theirs  and  the  mission  cause.  We  fear  they  will  suffer.  At 
any  rate,  they  cannot  do  any  thing  at  present,  and  for  a  good 
while  to  come,  of  missionary  work,  but  take  care  of  themselves. 
We  hope  no  more  will  come  in  this  way.  Those  who  came  last 
year  got  themselves  into  difficulty  when  they  first  started;  it  in- 
creased all  the  way,  and  they  still  are  not  reconciled  and  we  fear 
never  will  be.  They  are  living  upon  us;  have  done  nothing  yet 
but   explore   a   little,  and    appear   to    know    not    what   to   do,  but 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 29 

rather  die  than   to   give  up  their   plans  and   say  to   the   Christian 
world,  it  is  wrong  to  go  out  in  opposition  to  the  Board. 

Mr.  Munger  we  have  employed  to  finish  our  house.  Men  of 
great  funds  might  go  into  the  field  and  do  good,  but  poor  Chris- 
tians cannot,  even  if  they  depend  upon  irresponsible  churches. 
What  the  Lord  will  do  with  them  we  know  not.  Mrs.  Griffin's 
health  was  poor  when  she  came,  and  since  she  has  been  with  us 
this  summer  she  has  been  quite  laid  by  with  spinal  complaint. 

But  enough  of  this.  Our  trials  dear  father  knows  but  little 
about.  The  missionaries'  greatest  trials  are  but  little  known  to 
the  churches.  I  have  never  ventured  to  write  about  them  for 
fear  it  might  do  hurt.  The  man  who  came  with  us  is  one  who 
never  ought  to  have  come.  My  dear  husband  has  suffered  more 
from  him  in  consequence  of  his  wicked  jealousy,  and  his  great 
pique  towards  me,  than  can  be  known  in  this  world.  But  he  suf- 
fers not  alone — the  whole  mission  suffers,  which  is  most  to  be  de- 
plored. It  has  nearly  broken  up  the  mission.  This  pretended 
settlement  with  father,  before  we  started,  was  only  an  excuse,  and 
from  all  we  have  seen  and  heard,  both  during  the  journey  and 
since  we  have  been  here,  the  same  bitter  feeling  exists.  His  prin- 
cipal aim  has  been  at  me;  as  he  has  said,  "Bring  out  her  charac- 
ter," "Expose  her  character;"  as  though  I  was  the  vilest  creature 
on  earth.  It  is  well  known  I  never  did  anything  before  I  left 
home  to  injure  him,  and  I  have  done  nothing  since,  and  my  hus- 
band is  as  cautious  in  speaking  and  thinking  evil  of  him  or  treat- 
ing him  unkindly,  as  my  own  dear  father  would  .be,  yet  he  does 
not,  nor  has  he,  received  the  same  kindness  from  him  since  we 
have  been  missionaries  together. 

Every  mind  in  the  mission  that  he  has  had  access  to,  he  has 
tried  to  prejudice  against  us,  and  did  succeed  for  a  while,  which 
was  the  cause  of  our  being  voted  to  remove  and  form  a  new  station. 
This  was  too  much  for  my  husband's  feelings  to  bear,  and  so  many 
arrayed  against  him  and  for  no  good  reason.  He  felt  as  if  he 
must  leave  the  mission,  and  no  doubt  would  have  done  it,  had 
not  the  Lord  removed  from  us  our  beloved  child.  This  affliction 
softened   his  feelings  and  made  him  willing  to  suffer  the  will   of 


I 


130  OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

the  Lord,  although  we  felt  that  we  were  suffering  wrongfully. 
The  death  of  our  babe  had  a  great  affect  upon  all  in  the  mission; 
it  softened  their  hearts  towards  us,  even  Mr.  S.'s  for  a  season.  I 
never  have  had  any  difficulty  with  his  wife;  she  has  treated  me 
very  kindly  to  my  face,  but  recently  I  have  learned  that  she  has 
always  partook  of  the  feelings  of  her  husband.  I  have  always 
loved  her  and  felt  as  if  no  one  could  speak  against  her.  The  Lord 
in  His  providence  has  brought  things  around  in  such  a  way,  that 
all  see  and  feel  where  the  evil  lies,  and  some  of  them  are  writing 
to  the  Board  and  proposing  measures  to  have  an  overture  and  set- 
tlement made,  and  it  may  require  his  removal  or  return  to  effect 
it;  not  so  much  for  his  treatment  toward  us  as  some  others  also. 
A  particular  charge  brought  against  him  is  duplicity.  It  is  pain- 
ful for  me  to  write  thus  concerning  us  here;  and  this  is  but  a 
small  item  of  what  might  be  said.  I  have  long  had  a  desire 
to  have  some  few  judicious  friends  know  our  trials,  so  that 
they  may  understand  better  how  to  pray  for  us.  If  this  mission 
fails,  it  will  be  because  peace  and  harmony  does  not  dwell  among 
its  members.  Our  ardent  desire  and  prayer  is  that  it  may  not 
fail.  It  is  this  state  of  things  among  us  that  discourages  us. 
When  we  look  at  the  people  and  the  providence  of  God,  we  are 
more  and  more  encouraged  every  year. 

Since  the  return  of  the  Indians  this  fall,  it  has  seemed  as  if 
we  were  on  the  eve  of  a  revival.  Many  of  the  principal  Indians  are 
deeply  affected  by  the  truth;  some  manifest  it  by  bitter  opposi- 
tion, which  does  not  discourage  us,  although  our  faith  is  greatly 
tried. 

19th — Dear  Father: — I  have  been  interrupted  in  writing  this 
letter  on  account  of  ill  health.  It  affects  me  unfavorably  to  write 
much;  indeed,  I  am  pretty  much  confined  to  my  room,  which  is  a 
very  comfortable  place,  the  most  so  of  any  I  have  found  since  I  have 
been  here.  Since  writing  the  above  on  the  morning  of  the  16th, 
a  message  arrived  and  took  my  husband  away  as  in  a  moment. 
It  was  from  our  Brother  Smith,  about  a  hundred  and  eighty  miles 
from  here.  He  wrote  that  the  Indians  were  asking  him  to  give 
them  property  and  food,  and  wishing  him  to  pay  for  the  land  he  oc- 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  131 

cupied.  He  told  them  he  could  not  say  anything  about  it;  they  be- 
came very  angry  and  told  him  to  move  off  to-morrow;  he  said  he 
could  not,  but  they  still  insisted  upon  it  with  great  insolence,  until 
he  was  obliged  to  tell  them  he  would  go.  Sister  Smith  writes  me 
that  they  are  afraid  for  their  lives  and  the}-  ask  for  help  irumediatelv 
to  come  and  remove  them.  Husband  has  gone  and  expects  to  be 
obliged  to  bring  them  away  here.  What  the  result  will  be  the  Lord 
only  knows.  The  two  principal  instigators  are  brothers  to  the 
Indian  who  went  to  the  United  States  for  some  one  to  come  and 
teach  them,  that  we  read  about  as  the  first  news  west  of  the  Rocky 
mountains.  How  transient  is  the  missionaries'  home.  I  believe 
we  most  of  us  feel  that  "we  have  no  abiding  city  here." 

I  seldom  write  home  without  speaking  of  one  or  both  of  us 
being  absent  or  about  to  be.  We  journey  a  great  deal  and  that, 
with  other  causes,  has  nearly  worn  me  out,  and  my  husband,  too. 
I  cannot  say  all  I  should  like  for  want  of  time  and  strength. 
Part  of  the  contents  of  this  sheet,  ought  not  to  be  circulated;  it 
may  do  hurt.  I  do  not  wish  it  made  public,  for  any  one  to  muke 
an  ill  use  of  it. 

I  am  almost  discouraged  about  Marcus  ever  finding  time  to 
write  many  letters  to  our  friends  at  home;  he  has  written  none  for 
a  year  past;  he  would  if  he  could;  he  is  away  now  and  I  do  not 
know  when  he  will  return. 


I  began  to  write  about  the  state  of  the  people.  Of  late  mv 
heart  yearns  over  them  more  than  usual.  They  feel  so  bad,  dis- 
appointed, and  some  of  them  angry  because  husband  tells  them 
that  none  of  them  are  Christians;  that  they  are  all  of  them  in 
the  broad  road  to  destruction,  and  that  worshipping  will  not  save 
them.  They  try  to  persuade  him  not  to  talk  such  bad  talk  to 
them,  as  they  say,  but  talk  good  talk,  or  tell  some  story,  or  his- 
tory, so  that  they  may  have  some  Scripture  names  to  learn.  Some 
threaten  to  whip  him  and  to  destroy  our  crops,  and  for  a  long 
time  their  cattle  were   turned  into  our  potato   field  every  night  to 


132  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

see  if  the}-  could  not  compel  him  to  change  his  course  of  instruc- 
tion with  them. 

These  things  did  not  intimidate  us;  it  only  drove  us  to  a 
throne  of  grace  with  greater  earnestness  to  plead  for  blessings  to 
descend  upon  them.  Our  hearts  only  pant  for  time  to  have  our 
whole  minds  given  up  to  instructing  them  without  being  distract- 
ed with  so  many  cares  which  are  necessarily  upon  us,  not  for  our- 
selves so  much  as  for  others.  It  has  and  still  seems  as  if  a  rich 
blessing  was  near  at  hand  for  us  and  them,  and  sometimes  I  al- 
most seem  to  grasp  it.  Why  does  the  blessing  stay  ?  Is  it  be- 
cause there  is  so  few  hands  to  labour  and  there  is  much  rubbish 
to  be  cleared  away?  Or  is  it  because  of  our  unbelief  and  impiety 
of  heart?  Doubtless,  both.  O,  for  more  deep  and  ardent  piety  in 
every  heart;  but  particularly  in  my  own  and  husband's.  Will 
dear  father  pray  that  missionaries  may  be  more  holy  and  heaven- 
ly-minded, and  less  selfish.  Could  the  churches  at  home  be  set 
down  in  heathen  lands  and  see  and  know  their  missionaries  as 
they  know  themselves,  O  how  they  would  pray  for  them  and  feel 
and  sympathize  with  them. 

When  will  Christians  cease  to  feel  that  their  missionaries 
are  such  good  people  that  they  do  not  need  to  feel  and  pray  for 
them  as  they  pray  for  one  another. 

Dear  Sister  Jane  writes  that  the  Lord  will  do  wonders  for  the 
heathen  world  this  year,  and  we  expect  it,  too,  and  may  our 
hopes  be  realized. 

I  wish  it  did  not  hurt  me  so  to  write.  I  am  very  weak  and 
feeble,  and  much  thinking  or  excitement  overcomes  me.  I  should 
have  got  well  long  ago,  I  think,  if  it  were  possible  for  me  to  be 
quiet,  with  so  many  people  about  me  and  so  much  transpiring. 
Rest  is  not  for  us  in  this  world.  Dear  mother  says  it  seems  as 
if  she  might  see  us  again  in  this  world.  I  do  not  know  as  I  have 
such  a  thought;  although  it  may  not  be  impossible.  I  have 
long  felt  it  more  probable  that  we  should  never  meet,  and 
have  thought  more  of  meeting  my  friends  in  heaven  than  in 
this  world,  unless  the  Providence  of    God  should   make    it   neces- 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 33 

sary  for  us  to  leave  the  field.  Our  united  choice  would  be  to  live 
and  die  here — to  spend  our  lives  for  the  salvation  of  this  people. 
Yes,  dear  parents,  we  have  ever  been  contented  and  happy,  not- 
withstanding all  our  trials,  and  let  come  what  will,  we  had 
rather  die  in  the  battle  than  to  retreat,  if  the  Lord  will  only  ap- 
pear for  us  and  remove  all  that  is  in  the  way  of  His  salvation; 
take  up  every  stumbling  block  out  of  our  hearts  and  from  this 
mission,  and  prosper  His  own  cause  here.  Our  ardent  prayer  isy 
Lord  let  not  this  mission  fail;  for  our  Board  says  it  is  the  last 
effort  they  shall  make  for  the  poor  Indians: — and  may  the  dear 
Christians  at  home  feel  to  urge  up  their  requests  to  God  in  our 
behalf.     This  is  what  we  need  more  than  anything  else. 

Once  more,  dear  father,  farewell.  The  Lord  deal  gently  with 
my  beloved  parents  in  the  decline  of  life;  support  them  in  deatb, 
and  safely  house  them  and  us  in  His  presence  forever. 

As  ever,  I  remain,  your  affectionate  daughter, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Angelica, 

Allegheny  County 

New  York,  U.  S.  A. 


Waiieatpu,  W.  W.  River,  Oregon  Territory,! 

Oct.  9th,  1840.      j 

My  Dear  Mother: — I  cannot  express  the  satisfaction  we  en- 
joyed in  receiving,  beholding  and  perusing  dear  mother's  own 
letter;  her  own  words  and  thoughts,  written  with  her  own  hand. 
It  arrived  the  first  of  June.  An  Indian  brought  it  with  other 
letters  from  Walla  Walla  after  dark.  We  were  in  bed  and  had 
just  got  to  sleep  when  he  announced  that  letters  had  come.  We 
could  not  wait  until  morning,  but  lighted  a  candle  and  read 
them.     I  received  no  other  communications  except  what  was  con- 


134  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

tained  in  that  sheet  from  father,  mother  and  Harriet,  from  the 
States;  but  some  from  the  Islands.  It  was  enough  to  transport 
me  in  imagination  to  that  dear  circle  I  loved  so  well,  and  to  pre- 
vent sleep  from  returning  that  night.  I  have  long  looked  and 
longed  for  something  that  would  seem  like  conversing  with  dear 
mother  once  more,  and  now  it  has  arrived;  I  know  not  how  to  ex- 
press my  gratitude  to  her  for  it.  O,  could  my  dear  parents  know 
how  much  comfort  it  would  be  to  their  solitary  children  here, 
they  would  each  of  them  fill  out  a  sheet  as  often  as  once  a  month 
and  send  it  to  the  Board  for  us.  How  I  should  like  to  know 
what  each  of  them  are  doing  and  how  they  feel  from  week  to  week.  It 
would  be  better  to  me  than  books,  papers,  or  clothing.  I  have 
enough  of  everything  and  more  than  I  can  find  time  to  read.  If 
dear  father  can  afford  to  pay  the  postage  on  my  letters  home  and 
his  own  and  mother's  to  me  as  often  as  I  want  to  hear  from  them, 
we  will  be  perfectly  satisfied.  I  ask  for  nothing  else.  The  Beard 
are  constantly  sending  us  books  and  papers  and  boxes  of  cloth- 
ing. There  are  two  barrels  now  at  Vancouver  for  us  from  Brother 
Judson,  and  have  been  since  June;  also  one  from  Rushville  and  a 
box  from  Lysander.  I  expect  we  have  letters  in  Brother  Judson's 
barrel,  which  accounts  for  our  not  receiving  any  from  them.  We 
are  looking  for  them  up  every  day  now.  In  some  of  my  first 
letters  I  did  ask  for  some  clothing  to  be  sent  me.  It  was  more 
because  Mrs.  Hull  made  me  promise  to  write  for  what  I  wanted, 
than  because  I  needed  them.  I  do  not  need  to  have  dear  father 
send  me  anything,  for  others  do,  and  what  is  not  sent  I  can  do 
without.  We  are  well  provided  for;  the  churches  take  good  care  of 
their  missionaries.  Our  chief  desire  is  to  be  found  faithful  stew- 
ards in  that  which  is  committed  to  our  trust. 

I  received  a  letter  in  August  from  Sister  Jane  written  in  March. 
I  am  happy  to  hear  that  she  and  Edward  are  so  wisely  engaged. 
Hope  they  will  let  nothing  interrupt  them  in  their  studies  until 
E.  becomes  fitted  for  the  ministry  and  the  missionary  field.  Jane 
says  she  has  had  a  call  to  go  to  the  Sandwich  Islands;  I  am  glad 
she  does  not  go.  If  she  goes  anywhere  single,  she  must  come  and 
live  with  us;  shall  write  to  her  to  that  effect.  I  wrote  to  father 
and    mother  in    May  last    and    sent  them    across  the    mountains; 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 35 

hope  they  have  been  received  by  this  time.  In  that  I  mentioned 
we  were  about  to  start  to  Colville  on  a  medical  visit.  Mrs.  Walk- 
er has  a  little  daughter — second  child.  We  went  and  returned 
in  little  less  than  three  weeks,  130  miles.  This  is  hard  riding  for 
us.  Husband  is  gone  so  much  of  his  time  and  has  so  many  im- 
portant duties  at  home,  being  alone,  that  he  feels  as  if  he  must 
perform  his  journeys  as  rapidly  as  possible.  On  our  return  we 
moved  into  our  new  house — find  it  very  comfortable  and  much 
easier  to  do  our  work.  Mrs.  Munger  was  confined  the  25th  of 
June;  recovered  well — had  a  daughter.  We  left  immediately  for 
Mr.  Spalding's  to  attend  the  general  meeting  of  the  mission. 
Soon  after  we  returned  the  Lord  was  pleased  again  to  visit  our 
family  with  sickness  and  death.  Mother  will  recollect  that  in  the 
spring  of  1838  we  had  a  man  and  his  wife  sent  us  from  the  Sand- 
wich Island  (natives)  as  missionaries.  They  came  to  assist  us  in 
our  domestic  labours.  He  was  taken  sick  before  we  went  to  the 
meeting,  but  recovered  and  he  and  his  wife  went  with  us.  He 
was  sick  and  recovered  several  times,  but  every  relapse  brought 
him  much  lower  than  before.  He  died  the  8th  of  August  of  in- 
flammation of  the  bowels.  Our  loss  is  verv  great.  He  was  so 
faithful  and  kind — always  ready  and  anxious  to  relieve  us  of everv 
care,  so  that  we  might  give  ourselves  to  our  appropriate  mission- 
ary work — increasingly  so  to  the  last.  He  died  as  a  faithful 
Christian  missionary  dies — happy  to  die  in  the  field — rejoiced 
that  he  was  permitted  to  come  and  labour  for  the  good  of  the 
Indians,  while  his  heart  was  in  heaven  all  the  time.  Who  that 
could  witness  him  in  his  dying  moments  and  see  the  calm  and 
sweet  serenity  of  his  countenance,  but  what  would  feel  it  a  priv- 
ilege to  be  a  missionary — to  be  the  means  of  saving  one  such  soul 
from  the  midst  of  heathen  darkness.  His  wife  is  just  so  faithful, 
but  she  is  a  feeble  person.  I  know  not  how  I  could  do  without 
her;  so  we  feel  concerning  him.  But  the  Lord  saw  different.  He 
had  higher  employment  for  him  in  heaven.  Dear  mother,  we  feel 
that  the  Lord  means  something  by  his  repeated  affliction;  everv 
year  we  have  had  a  death  in  our  family  since  we  have  been  here. 
I  feel  as  if  it  would  be  our  turn  soon  and  we  know  not  how  soon. 
In  about    a  month    after   Joseph's  death,  1    was    taken    with    in- 


136  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL    REUNION 

flam  mat  ion  of  the'kidneys  and  was  brought  very  low.  But  the  Lord 
in  mercy  raised  me  up  again  and  I  got  able  to  be  about  in  a  short 
time;  but  since  that  I  got  down  again  and  have  been  ever  since 
unable  to^see  to  my  work.  Have  been  taking  medicine  now  for 
some  time  and  begin  to  feel  as  if  I  should  be  quite  well  again; 
but  do  not  expect  to  be  able  to  engage  in  teaching  again  this 
winter.  It  is  quite  a  trial  to  be  laid  aside  when  so  much  needs  to 
be  done.  But  missionaries  wear  out  quick  where  they  have  al- 
ways so  much  to  do,  and  it  will  be  so,  so  long  as  there  are  so  few 
in  the  field.    ' 

We  are  thronged  with  company  now  and  have  been  for  some 
time  past,  and  may  be  through  the  winter.  I  often  think  of 
what  mother  used  to  say — "I  wish  Narcissa  would  not  always 
have  so  much  company."  It  is  well  for  me  now  that  I  have  had 
so  much  experience  in  waiting  upon  company,  and  I  can  do  it 
when  necessary  without  considering  it  a  great  task.  As  we  are 
situated,  our  house  is  the  missionaries'  tavern,  and  we  must  accom- 
modate more  or  less  the  whole  time.  Mr.  Gray  and  family  are 
removed  from  Lapwai  (Mr.  Spalding's  station)  and  are  now  with 
us  until  they  can  build  anew,  or  rather  until  after  his  wife's  con- 
finement. He  has  an  Hawaiian  wife  lately  from  the  Islands. 
Mr.  Griffin  and  Mr.  Munger  and  their  wives,  who  came  out  last 
summer  as  self-supporting  missionaries,  are  here  also.  In  August 
Rev.  Mr.  Clark,  Philo  Littlejohn,  and  Mr.  Smith  with  their  wives, 
arrived;  they  have  come  independent  of  the  Board,  also.  We  have 
no  less  than  seven  missionary  families  in  our  two  houses.  We 
feel  that  we  need  much  patience  and  wisdom  to  get  along  with 
so  many,  and  much  strength.  We  are  in  peculiar  and  somewhat 
trying  circumstances  in  relation  to  them.  We  are  under  the  Ameri- 
can Board  and  the}-  have  come  out  in  opposition,  or  in  other  words  to 
try  to  live  independently  of  the  Board.  This  they  will  find  very  diffi- 
cult, or  next  to  impossible  to  do,  and  some  of  them  begin  to  see 
it  so.  We  cannot  sell  to  them,  because  we  are  missionaries  and 
did  not  come  to  be  traders;  and  if  we  did  we  should  help  them  to 
establish  an  opposition  Board.  But  we  can  give  them,  and  report 
to  the  Board,  which  is  not  so  agreeable  to  them.  Their  means  are 
very  limited  and   they  will  suffer    before  they  can    get  help   from 


TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION  1 37 

the  churches,  if  they  have  it  at  all.  Those  who  have  come  this 
year  are  excellent  people  and  we  wish  they  were  under  the  Board, 
for  we  need  their  labours  very  much.  We  should  keep  Mr.  Little- 
john  and  his  wife  with  us  if  we  had  any  claim  upon  them.  Ma 
is  acquainted  with  them;  he  is  Augusta's  brother. 

What  a  comfort  it  is  to  us  that  mother  and  father  still  live  to 
pray  for  us,  and  may  they  long  continue  to.  For  they  can  never 
realize  how  much  grace  and  wisdom,  patience,  forbearance 
brotherly  kindness,  love  and  charity;  yea,  every  Christian  grace,, 
meekness  and  humility,  their  daughter  needs. 

Once  more,  dear  mother,  farewell. 

From  your    ever  affectionate  daughter. 

Narcissa. 

P.  S. — Your  children  both  send  much  love.  I  had  hoped  that 
ma  would  have  received  a  letter  at  this  time  from  her  son  Mar- 
cus; but  it  is  almost  like  hoping  against  hope,  so  long  as  his 
cares  and  duties  are  so  complicated. 


Oct.  20th,  1840. 

My  Dear  Sister  Harriet: — Yrour  letter,  although  short,  was 
very  good  and  pleased  me  much;  and  now  what  do  you  think 
it  would  have  been  to  me,  how  much  good  would  it  have  done 
your  brother  and  me,  if  it  had  been  a  whole  sheet  and  well  filled 
as  I  fill  mine.  I  have  written  you  separately  a  long  letter,  and 
one  to  Edward.  You  did  not  tell  me  that  you  had  received  any. 
Always  tell  me  how  many  letters  of  mine  you  have  received,  and 
what  their  dates  are,  and  then  I  shall  know  if  you  get  all  I  write 
home.  When  I  write  you,  I  always  wish  to  have  you  receive  them, 
and  if  I  know  what  you  receive,  then  I  shall  know  what  you 
hear  from  me. 

You  did  not  tell  me  what  you  are  doing  and  what  company 
you  keep;  what  female  meetings  you  attend,  and  whether  you  are 
doing  good  in  the  cause  of  Christ.     What  books  do  you  read?  Do 


138  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

you  comfort  ma  by  reading  to  her  such  books  as  Dwight's  The- 
ology, Doddridge's  Rise  and  Progress,  Milner's  Church  History, 
etc.,  as  Narcissa  used  to  do  in  her  younger  days?  What  progress 
are  you  making  in  the  divine  life?  You  see  there  are  many 
things  I  wish  you  to  tell  me — enough  to  fill  more  than  one  sheet. 
I  am  happy  to  hear  that  J.  and  E.  have  gone  to  prepare  to  become 
missionaries,  and  that  you  have  a  wish  to  be  here  with  me.  I 
should  like  to  have  you  here  very  much,  and  I  hope  you  will  pre- 
pare yourself  for  it.  I  know  dear  mother  would  willingly  give 
up  Harriet  to  go  to  the  heathen  if  the  Lord  should  call  her.  This 
is  what  you  ought  to  live  for  as  well  as  me,  for  there  is  nothing 
so  desirable.  I  may  send  for  you  yet,  and  you  would  do  well  to 
prepare  yourself.  I  think  of  proposing  to  Jane  to  come  and 
teach  school  here  next  time  I  write  her.  Dear  Harriet,  honour 
the  Saviour  every  where  you  go;  be  entirely  devoted  to  Him.  You 
will  never  regret  it.  Do  write  me  of  ten  and  fully.  Write  a  little 
oftener  and  send  me  more  than  one  sheet  a  year.  It  will  be  good 
for  you  to  cultivate  the  talent  of  writing.  Yes,  do  more  than  I 
used  to,  and  then  you  will  not  regret  that  you  did  not  do  it  more, 
as  I  do  now  when  I  am  obliged  to  write  so  often  and  so  much. 
Those  of  the  family  that  do  not  write  me,  I  am  afraid  I  shall  for- 
get to  inquire  after  them,  or  write  them.  You  all  have  more  time 
than  I,  and  more  strength,  too. 

Your  dear  brother  is  not  at  home;  if  he  was  he  would  send 
much  love.  As  it  is  I  send  it  for  him.  Think  of  him  traveling 
alone  this  cold  weather.  The  first  after  he  left  his  warm  home, 
the  wind  blew  very  hard  and  cold, — he  with  but  two  blankets, 
sleeping  on  the  ground  alone;  and  since,  it  has  rained  almost 
every  day,  and  sometimes  snowed  a  little.  I  do  not  know  when 
he  will  come  home. 

Farewell,  dear  Harriet.  Pray  much  for  your  sister  who  loves 
you  and  sends  much  love  to  you  and  all  the  brothers  and  sisters. 

Tell  me  more  about  Stephen's  children  and  H.'s  and  E.'s;  you 
know,  Harriet,  mine  is  dead.  Before  this  I  have  written  all  about 
her;  tell  me  if  you  have  seen  it.     Adieu, 

Your  affectionate  sister, 

Narcissa. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 39 


Waii  i.aTit,  March  2nd,  1S41. 

My  Dear  Sister: — We  are  in  deep  trial  and  affliction.  Our 
Brother  Mnnger  is  perfectly  insane  and  we  are  tried  to  know- 
how  to  get  along  with  him.  He  claims  it  as  a  duty  we  owe  him, 
as  the  representative  of  Christ's  church,  to  obey  him  in  all  things. 
He  is  our  lawgiver,  as  Moses  was  to  the  children  of  Israel.  Last 
Sabbath  was  the  accomplishment  of  all  things  to  him — a  glorious 
Sabbath;  the  bringing  in  of  all  things — the  Judgment  Day. 
Brother  Perkins  will  recollect  some  features  in  his  prayers  while 
he  was  here,  which  we  now  see  indicated  a  mind  not  sound  on 
all  points.  Now  don't  let  your  faith  in  God  be  staggered  by 
what  has  happened  unto  him.  He  has  been  thinking  upon  some 
points  so  long  and  so  deeply  that  his  mind  has  lost  its  balance. 
He  has  been  nearly  so  before,  his  wife  tells  me,  but  not  so  entire- 
ly gone.  Poor  Sister  M. — her  trials  are  very  great.  To  see  him 
die  in  a  happy  state  of  mind  would  be,  comparatively,  a  light 
affliction.  He  has  been  inclining  this  way  so  long  we  see  but 
little  or  no  hope    he  will  ever   be  any  better. 

When  your  husband  left  us  we -were  all  of  us  at  work  with 
our  own  hearts  to  get  them  right  for  the  blessing  of  God  upon 
us.  He  was  pleased  to  show  some  of  us  our  hearts;  at  least  me  mine 
as  I  never  saw  it  before,  and  I  trust  it  has  been  a  profitable  lesson  to 
me.  The  work  seemed  to  go  on  gradually  and  we  hope  effectually, 
but  frequently  during  this  time  we  all  felt  our  feelings  destroyed 
by  Brother  Munger's  prayers,  and  ventured  to  speak  to  him  of  it, 
but  to  our  surprise  he  did  not  receive  it  with  that  Christian 
meekness  and  improvement  we  expected  in  him,  but  appeared  to 
be  more  and  more  strengthened  in  his  preconceived  notions  and 
feelings  of  himself,  until  he  plainly  convinced  us  by  his  strange 
actions  that  he  was  deranged. 

Efforts  have  been  made  by  my  husband  and  Mr.  Gray  to  re- 
store him,  but  all  prove  ineffectual.  He  sent  to  be  present  at  our 
family  worship  this  morning,  but  we  felt  it  would  be  no  wor- 
ship and  deferred  his  coming   until    after,  and  now  he    is  waiting 


140  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

for  his  troops  to  come  in  who,  some   of  them,  appear  very  unwill- 
ing to  obey  orders. 

Brother  Littlejohn  has  gone  to  see  Mr.  Clark  at  Mr.  Smith's. 
We  are  expecting  his  return  this  week,  also  Mr.  C.  What  will  be 
done  with  him,  we  know  not,  but  preparations  must  be  made  to 
take  him  home,  if  possible. 

Do  pray  for  his  afflicted  wife,  and  may  the  Lord  teach  us  all 
a  lesson  for  our  profit,  and  show  us  the  debt  of  gratitude  we  owe 
him  for  the  merciful  preservation  of  our  reason  to  us. 

I  could  say  much  more,  but  I  have  snatched  this  moment  to 
write  what  I  have,  and  must  close. 

Give  much  love  to  the  Sisters  Brewer  and  Lee,  if  with  you. 

Affectionately  your  sister  in  Christ, 


N.  Whitman. 


Mrs.  Elvira  Perkins, 

Wascopum. 


Waiilatpu,  May  30th,  1841. 
My  Dear  Brother  Edward: — Yesterday  Mr.  Ermatinger  left  us 
to  go  to  Fort  Hall  and  the  Rendezvous,  and  we  sent  our  package 
of  letters  to  our  friends  by  him.  There  being  still  another  oppor- 
tunity of  writing,  I  embrace  it  for  tomorrow.  Husband  is  to  send 
an  Indian  to  overtake  him  on  account  of  some  business  forgotten 
to  be  attended  to  while  he  was  here.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Munger,  who 
I  hope  you  will  see,  left  more  than  three  weeks  ago  with  the  main 
party  who  have  the  goods,  and  Mr.  E.  is  to  overtake  them. 

Since  writing  Jane's  letter,  much  has  transpired  of  interest  to 
us.  Mr.  Pambrun,  of  whom  you  have  often  heard  me  speak,  re- 
ceived an  injun-  while  riding  out  a  little  way  from  his  fort  by 
his  horse  losing  the  rope  out  of  his  mouth  and  running  and  surg- 
ing, which  threw  him  repeatedly  upon  the  horn  of  his  saddle  and 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  141 

finally  upon  the  ground.  He  was  so  bruised  and  maimed  in  the 
abdomen,  that  he  was  unable  to  move  and  was  carried  to  the  house 
on  blankets.  He  died  in  four  days  after  the  injury,  a  most  pain- 
ful death.  He  died  as  he  lived,  saying  that  he  was  a  Christian, 
but  giving  no  evidence  that  he  was  one  in  heart.  He  was  a  Ro- 
man Catholic.  Your  brother  went  and  stayed  with  him  during  his 
sickness  until  he  died.  He  was  so  anxious  to  die  to  be  relieved 
from  pain  and  suffering,  that  he  plead  with  the  doctor  to  give  him 
something  to  stupefy  him  so  that  he  might  die  quick.  When  he 
was  in  the  last  agonies  he  insisted  on  having  an  emetic  given  him 
ana  when  he  could  not  prevail  on  the  doctor  or  Mr.  Rogers,  who 
was  with  him  when  he  was  hurt  and  sick,  he  sent  for  his  men  to 
take  him  and  carry  him  out  so  that  he  might  get  it  himself,  but 
he  did  not  succeed  and  gave  up  to  die  without  it. 

His  poor  familv  feel  the  loss  very  much;  he  was  their  main 
support;  had  nine  children,  the  youngest  an  infant  three  weeks 
old.  His  wife  is  a  half-breed.  He  gave  me  his  little  daughter, 
Harriet,  the  one  named  just  before  he  died.  We  know  not  what 
the  Lord  means  by  this  providence,  but  we  hope  good  will  result 
to  His  cause  and  his  afflictions  may  be  sanctified  to  the  living. 

Dear  brother,  this  is  the  Sabbath  day.  At  this  time  you  are 
doubtless  engaged  in  the  worship  of  God  in  the  sanctuary,  a  priv- 
ilege I  once  enjoyed,  but  now  am  deprived  of.  Our  minds  suffer 
for  the  want  of  such  privileges.  Yet  in  our  deprivation  we  have 
our  enjoyments,  for  we  can  worship  God  in  our  own  dwellings 
and  find  Him  here  present  with  us.  At  times  the  special  presence 
of  His  Holy  Spirit  appears  to  be  manifest,  and  he  seems  to  be 
reaching  down  His  hand  filled  with  blessings  to  this  dying  people. 
The  work  is  a  great  work;  but  how  few  and  feeble  are  the  labourers 
already  in  the  field.  Our  earnest  prayer  is  that  more  labourers 
might  be  sent  to  aid  us  in  our  work;  men  after  God's  own  heart, 
and  not  easily  discouraged. 

The  present  is  a  time  of  unusual  quiet — not  an  Indian  is  to  be 
seen  about  us  all  are  scattered  in  little  groups  far  and  near,  dig- 
ging their  kamas  root,  and   taking  salmon.     Here  is  the  mission- 


142  OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

ary's  trial  in  this  country.  The  people  are  with  him  so  little  of 
the  time,  and  they  are  so  scattered  that  he  cannot  go  with  them, 
for  but  few  are  in  a  place.  Notwithstanding  our  discouragements, 
I  feel  that  we  would  not  be  situated  differently  if  we  could.  We 
would  not  be  out  of  the  field  for  any  consideration  whatever,  so 
long  as  the  Lord  has  any  work  for  us  to  do  here.  I  wish  Jane  was 
here  to  help  me.  When  I  hear  from  you  again  I  shall  know  what 
to  do  about  sending  to  the  Board  to  have  her  come,  if  Edward  can 
spare  her  and  will  still  go  on  with  his  studies.  I  hope  you  will 
remember  what  I  have  written  to  you  in  the  other  letter,  and  do 
as  I  have  asked  you  to  do,  for  your  own  sake  as  well  as  mine.  You 
seem  to  be  very  near  to  us.  It  is  almost  June  now,  and  I  hope 
this  letter  will  reach  you  in  safety  and  speedily.  Mrs.  Littlejohn 
has  become  the  mother  of  a  fine  Oregon  boy;  they  will  go  home 
now  as  soon  as  they  can  get  an  opportunity  by  ship.  Whether 
you  see  them  or  not,  after  they  return  I  know  not.  Many  others 
are  getting  discouraged  and  wishing  to  leave,  and  others  are  great- 
ly disappointed  in  the  country.  I  went  to  Walla  Walla  two  weeks 
ago  to  attend  Mr.  P.'s  funeral  and  spent  about  two  weeks  with 
the  family.  They  sent  for  rne  to  come  home,  for  Mrs.  Littlejohn 
was  sick,  but  I  did  not  get  home  until  her  babe  was  born.  She  is 
doing  well  and    her  babe   also. 

Dear  Jane,  I  hear  much  of  your  watching  and  taking  care  of 
the  sick.  Do  be  more  careful  of  your  own  health;  I  fear  for  you; 
you  will  wear  out  too  soon.  I  have  not  been  able  to  do  much  such 
work  since  I  have  been  here. 

Your  brother  often  speaks  of  you  and   has  intended  to  write 

you  both,  but  has  been  pulled  this  way  and   that,  so  that   he   has 

not  had  time.     Adieu;  our  love  to  you  both.     I  have  not  written 

to   pa  and    ma,  as   I   intended,  but   husband   has,  which  you  may 

read  if  you  see  Mrs.  Munger. 

Your  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 

Dear  Sister  Jane: — It  would  be  a  pleasure  to  see  you,  and  I  am 
meditating  how  it   could   be,  as  you   have  come  almost   half  way. 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  143 

I  was  just  telling  Narcissa  what  an  interest  I  had  taken  in  your- 
self ever  since  I  was  introduced  to  you  at  your  father's  house  by 
Mr.  Hamilton  at  the  close  of  a  prayer  meeting.  That  was  the  first 
introduction  to  the  family.  From  that  moment  my  heart  has 
been  towards  the  family.  But  you  smile,  I  suppose,  and  say  it 
was  Narcissa;  no,  it  was  Jane;  Narcissa  was  in  Butler.  I  presume 
you  will  have  no  recollection  of  the  introduction;  if  so,  let  it  rest 
on  my  recollection,  which  is  vivid.  I  trust  you  are  happily  em- 
ployed in  aiding  Edward.  It  is  a  noble  work.  Encourage  him 
to  study  and  toil.  Tell  him  to  finish  his  education  before  he  gives 
his  mind  any  liberty  to  rove.  Let  usefulness  be  his  motto.  Ob- 
stacles can  be  overcome.     With  much  love  to  you  both, 

Your  brother, 

Marcus  Whitman. 

I  would  send  you  some  specimens  of  the  country  if  it  were 
not  so  difficult  to  pack  them  across  the  mountains. 

May  17th,  1842. — I  send  this  for  the  scrap  my  dear  husband 
has  written  you,  more  than  for  what  I  have  written.  It  may  do 
you  good  to  get  even  that  from  him  who  is  so  dear  to  your  sister 
and  to  you,  I  trust.  It  was  returned  last  spring,  and  I  could  not 
send  it  by  ship.  Rogers  has  just  said  that  he  would  call  on  you, 
so  that  you  can  ask  him  as  many  questions  as  you  can  think  of, 
and  if  he  returns  you  can  send  by  him  next  spring. 

Adieu,  dear  E.  Your  sister, 

N.  W. 


WAIJXA.TPU,  March  1st,  1842. 

My  Dear  Jane  and  Ed-ward: — I  was  busy  all  the  forenoon  in 
preparing  my  husband  for  his  departure.  He  left  about  two 
o'clock  p.  m.  to  go  on  a  professional  visit  to3rother  Walker's,  and 
I  am  once  more  left  alone  in  this  house  with  no  other  company 
than  my  two  little  half-breed  girls,  Mary  Ann  Bridger  and  Helen 
Mar  Meek.     Since  he  left  I  have  copied  a  letter  of  one    sheet  and 


144  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

a  half  for  him  to  Brother  Spalding  and  written  a  short  one  to 
Sister  S.,  besides,  which  kept  me  until  nearly  dark,  although  I 
wrote  with  all  my  might,  for  we  had  detained  an  Indian  who 
was  going  that  way,  to  take  them,  and  before  I  could  get  them 
completed  he  began  to  be  quite  impatient.  I,  however,  pacified 
him  by  giving  him  something  to  eat  to  beguile  his  time,  and 
when  he  left  gave  him  a  good  piece  of  bread  to  eat  on  the  way. 
The  Indians  do  us  many  favours  in  this  way,  and  get  as  many 
from  us  in  return,  for  they  are  always  glad  of  something  from  us 
to  eat  on  the  way.  Since  I  got  my  letters  off  I  regulated  my 
house  some,  got  my  own  and  little  girl's  supper  and  some  toast 
and  tea  for  a  sick  man  who  has  been  here  a  few  days,  from  Walla 
Walla  to  be  doctored;  attended  family  worship  and  put  my  little 
girls  to  bed,  and  have  set  me  down  to  write  a  letter  to  Jane  and 
Edward,  my  dear  brother  and  sister  that  I  left  at  home  in  Angel- 
ica more  than  six  years  ago.  Since  or  just  as  I  seated  myself  to 
write,  Brother  Gray  came  in  to  get  some  medicine  for  the  sick 
man.  He  is  in  Packet's  lodge  a  few  steps  from  the  door,  and  he 
is  the  man  who  attends  to  my  wants,  such  as  milking,  getting 
water,  wood,  etc.  He  is  a  half-breed  from  the  east  side  of  the 
mountains  and  was  brought  up  at  Harmony  mission,  but  came 
to  the  mountains  about  eight  years  ago  and  has  since  become  a 
Catholic.  Brother  Gray  has  built  him  a  new  house  and  it  is 
quite  a  piece  from  us.  Thus  lonely  situated,  what  would  be  the 
enjoyment  to  me  if  E.  and  J.  would  come  in  and  enjoy  my  soli- 
tude with  me.  Surely  solitude  would  quickly  vanish,  as  it  almost 
appears  to,  even  while  I  am  writing.  Jane,  I  wish  you  were  here 
to  sleep  with  me,  I  am  such  a  timid  creature  about  sleeping  alone 
that  sometimes  I  suffer  considerably,  especially  since  my  health 
has  been  not  very  good.  It,  however,  gives  me  the  opportunity 
for  the  exercise  of  greater  trust  and  confidence  in  my  heavenly 
protector  in  whose  hands  I  am  always  safe  and  happy  when  I 
feel  myself  there.  My  eyes  are  much  weaker  than  when  I  left 
home  and  no  wonder,  I  have  so  much  use  for  them.  I  am  at 
times  obliged  to  use  the  spectacles  Brother  J.  G.  so  kindly  fur- 
nished me.  I  do  not  know  what  I  could  do  without  them;  so 
much  writing  as  we   have  to    do,  both  in  our    own  language    and 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  145 

the  Nez  Perces;  and,  besides,  we  have  no  waj'  to  feast  our  minds 
with  knowledge  necessary  for  health  and  spirituality  without 
reading,  and  here  the  strength  of  the  eyes  are  taxed  again. 

Out  of  compassion  to  my  eyes  and  exhausted  frame,  dear 
ones,  I  must  bid  you  good-night.  You  may  hear  from  me  to- 
morrow, perhaps,  if  I  am  not  interrupted  with  company. 

2d — After  attending  to  the  duties  of  the  morning,  and  as  I  was 
nearly  done  hearing  my  children  read,  two  native  women  came 
in  bringing  a  miserable  looking  child,  a  boy  between  three  and 
four  years  old,  and  wished  me  to  take  him.  He  is  nearly  naked, 
and  they  said  his  mother  had  thrown  him  away  and  gone  off 
with  another  Indian.  His  father  is  a  Spaniard  and  is  in  the 
mountains.  It  has  been  living  with  its  grandmother  the  winter 
past,  who  is  an  old  and  adulterous  woman  and  has  no  compas- 
sion for  it.  Its  mother  has  several  others  by  different  white  men, 
and  one  by  an  Indian,  who  are  treated  miserably  and  scarcely 
subsist.  My  feelings  were  greatly  excited  for  the  poor  child  and 
felt  a  great  disposition  to  take  him.  Soon  after  the  old  grand- 
mother came  in  and  said  she  would  take  him  to  Walla  Walla 
and  dispose  of  him,  there  and  according^-  took  him  away.  Some 
of  the  women  who  were  in,  compassionated  his  case  and  followed 
after  her  and  would  not  let  her  take  him  away,  and  returned 
with  him  again  this  eve  to  see  what  I  would  do  about  him.  I 
told  her  I  could  not  tell  because  my  husband  was  gone.  What  I 
fear  most  is  that  after  I  have  kept  him  awhile  some  of  his  rela- 
tives will  come  and  take  him  away  and  my  labour  will  be  lost  or 
worse  than  lost.  I,  however,  told  them  they  might  take  him 
away  and  bring  him  again  in  the  morning,  and  in  the  meantime  I 
would  think  about  is.  The  care  of  such  a  child  is  very  great  at 
first — dirty,  covered  with  bod}'  and  head  lice  and  starved — his 
clothing  is  apart  of  a  skin  dress  that  does  not  half  cover  his 
nakedness,  and  a  small  bit  of  skin  over  his  shoulders. 

Helen  was  in  the  same  condition  when  I  took  her,  and  it  was 
a  long  and  tedious  task  to  change  her  habiits,  young  as  she  was, 
but  little  more  than  two  years  old.     She  was  so  stubborn  and  fret- 


146  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

ful  and  wanted  to  cry  all  the  time  if  she  could  not  have  her  own 
way.  We  have  so  subdued  her  that  now  she  is  a  comfort  to  us, 
although  she  requires  tight  reins  constantly. 

Mary  Ann  is  of  a  mild  disposition  and  easily  governed  and 
makes  but  little  trouble.  She  came  here  last  August.  Helen 
has  been  here  nearly  a  year  and  a  half.  The  Lord  has  taken  our 
own  dear  child  away  so  that  we  may  care  for  the  poor  outcasts  of 
the  country  and  suffering  children.  We  confine  them  altogether 
to  English  and  do  not  allow  them  to  speak  a  word  of  Nez 
Perces. 

Read  a  portion  of  the  Scriptures  to  the  women  who  were  in 
today,  and  talked  awhile  with  them.  Baked  bread  and  crackers 
today  and  made  two  rag  babies  for  my  little  girls.  I  keep  them 
in  the  house  most  of  the  time  to  keep  them  away  from  the  na- 
tives, and  find  it  difficult  to  employ  their  time  when  I  wish  to 
be  engaged  with  the  women.  They  have  a  great  disposition  to 
take  a  piece  of  board  or  a  stick  and  carry  it  around  on  their 
backs,  if  I  would  let  them,  for  a  baby,  so  I  thought  I  would  make 
them  something  that  would  change  their  taste  a  little.  You  won- 
der, I  suppose,  what  looking  objects  Narcissa  would  make.  No 
matter  how  they  look,  so  long  as  it  is  a  piece  of  cloth  rolled  up 
with  eyes,  nose  and  mouth  marked  on  it  with  a  pen,  it  answers 
every  purpose.  They  caress  them  and  carr)'  them  about  the  room 
at  a  great  rate,  and  are  as  happy  as  need  be.  So  much  for  my 
children. 

I  have  not  told  you  that  we  have  a  cooking  stove,  sent  us 
from  the  Board,  which  is  a  great  comfort  to  us  this  winter,  and 
enables  me  to  do  my  work  with  comparative  ease,  now  that  I 
have  no  domestic  help. 

We  have  had  but  very  little  snow  and  cold  this  winter  in  this 
valley.  The  thermometer  has  not  been  lower  than  200  below- 
freezing;  but  in  every  direction  from  us  there  has  been  an  unu- 
sual quantity  of  snow,  and  it  still  remains.  Husband  expects  to 
find  snow  beyond  the  Snake  river,  which  he  would  cross  today 
if  he  has  been  prospered,  and  may  perhaps  be  obliged  to  make 
snow  shoes  to   travel   with.     Last   night   was  a  very  windy  night, 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  147 

and  the  same  today,  but  it  is  still  now.  Brother  Walker  is  situ- 
ated directly  north  of  us,  so  that  it  is  not  likely  that  the  snow 
will  decrease  any  in  going.  It  is  uncertain  when  he  will  return 
if  prospered  and  not  hindered  with  the  snow.  He  expects  to  be 
gone  only  four  weeks.  May  the  Lord  preserve  and  return  him  in 
afety  and  in  His  own  time,  and  keep  me  from  anxiety  concern- 
ing him.     Goodnight,  J.  and  E. 

3d. — Dear  Jane,  this  has  been  washing  day,  and  I  have  cleaned 
house  some;  had  a  native  woman  to  help  me  that  does  the  hard- 
est part.  I  am  unable  to  do  my  heavy  work  and  have  been  for 
two  years   past. 

This  evening  an  Indian  has  been  in  who  has  been  away  all 
winter.  I  have  been  reading  to  him  the  fifth  chapter  of  Matthew. 
Every  word  of  it  seemed  to  sink  deep  into  his  heart;  and  O  may 
it  prove  a  savour  of  life  to  his  soul.  He  thinks  he  is  a  Christian, 
but  we  fear  to  the  contrary.  His  mind  is  somewhat  waked  up 
about  his  living  with  two  wives.  I  would  not  ease  him  any,  but 
urged  him  to  do  his  duty.  Others  are  feeling  upon  the  subject, 
particularly  the  women;  and  why  should  the}-  not  feel? — they  are 
the  sufferers. 

The  little  boy  was  brought  to  me  again  this  morning  and  I 
could  not  shut  my  heart  against  him.  I  washed  him,  oiled 
and  bound  up  his  wounds,  and  dressed  him  and  cleaned  his  head 
of  lice.  Before  he  came  his  hair  was  cut  close  to  his  head  and  a 
strip  as  wide  as  your  finger  was  shaved  from  ear  to  ear,  and  also 
from  his  forehead  to  his  neck,  crossing  the  other  at  right  angles. 
This  the  boys  had  done  to  make  him  look  ridiculous.  He  had  a 
burn  on  his  foot  where  they  said  he  had  been  pushed  into  the  fire 
for  the  purpose  of  gratifying  their  malicious  feelings,  and  because 
he  was  friendless.  He  feels,  however,  as  if  he  had  got  into  a 
strange  place,  and  has  tried  to  run  away  once  or  twice.  He  will 
soon  get  accustomed,  I  think,  and  be  happy,  if  I  can  keep  him 
away  from  the  native  children.  So  much  about  the  boy  Marshall. 
I  can  write  no  more  tonight. 


148  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

4th. — There  has  been  almost  constant  high  wind  ever  since 
husband  left  and  increasingly  cold.  Feel  considerably  anxious 
concerning  him,  lest  the  deep  snow  and  cold  may  make  his  jour- 
ney a  severe  one.  At  the  best  it  is  very  wearing  to  nature  to 
travel  in  this  country.  He  never  has  been  obliged  to  encounter  so 
much  snow  before,  and  I  do  not  know  how  it  will  affect  him.  He 
is  a  courageous  man,  and  it  is  well  that  he  is  so  to  be  a  physician 
in  this  country..  Common  obstacles  never  affect  hirn;  he  goes 
ahead  when  duty  calls.  Jane  and  Edward,  you  know  but  little 
about  your  brother  Marcus,  and  all  I  can  tell  you  about  him  at 
this  time  is  that  he  is  a  bundle  of  thoughts. 

Met  this  afternoon  for  a  female  prayer  meeting;  only  two  of 
us — Sister  Gray  and  myself — yet  they  are  precious  seasons  to  us, 
especially  when  Jesus  meets  with  us,  as  He  often  does.  I  am 
blessed  with  a  lovely  sister  and  an  excellent  associate  in  Sister 
Gray,  and  I  trust  that  I  am  in  some  measure  thankful,  for  I  have 
found  by  experience  that  it  is  not  good  to  be  alone  in  our  cares 
and  labours. 

9th. — Last  evening  received  a  letter  from  Sister  Walker  dated 
Feb.  21st,  in  which  she  expresses  some  fears  lest  husband  should 
not  arrive  in  season  on  account  of  the  deep  snow.  The  probabil- 
ity is  that  he  has  had  as  much  as  one  day  on  snow  shoes  if  not 
more.  We  are  having  our  winter  now,  both  of  cold  and  snow. 
During  the  last  twenty-four  hours  there  has  been  quite  a  heavy 
fall  of  snow  in  the  valley,  and  it  is  doubtless  doubled  in  the 
mountains. 

Last  eve  I  spent  at  Bro.  Gray's,  after  the  monthly  concert. 
We  opened  some  boxes  that  have  just  arrived  from  the  Board  to 
the  mission,  containing  carding,  spinning  and  weaving  appara- 
tus, clothing  and  books.  Our  goods  often  get  wet  in  coming  up 
the  river,  and  we  are  often  obliged  to  open,  dry  and  repack  again. 
We  have  abundant  evidence  that  our  Christian  friends  in  the 
States  have  not  forgotten  us,  by  the  donations  we  receive  from 
time  to  time.  My  work  last  eve  was  such  cold  and  damp  work 
that  it  gave  me  many  rheumatic  pains   all  night,  and  besides  it 


OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  1 49 

took  us  so  long  that  [  feel  unable  to  write  much  more  tonight. 
There  is  still  another  evening's  work  of  the  same  kind,  which 
must  be  done  as  soon  as  tomorrow.  We  take  the  eve  because  Bro. 
G.  has  so  much  labour  during  the  day,  and  then  our  children  are 
all  in  bed.     Goodnight,  Jane. 

9th. — While  I  was  thinking  about  preparing  to  retire  to  rest 
last  eve,  Bro.  Gray  came  in  to  see  if  I  could  go  over  and  see  and 
aid  in  the  arrangement  of  the  other  boxes.  I  finally  mustered 
courage  to  go,  because  they  were  anxious  to  have  it  out  of  the 
way.  Found  it  an  easier  job  than  was  expected,  because  there 
was  but  one  that  needed  drying. 

Attended  maternal  meeting  this  afternoon.  Sister  G.  and  I 
make  all  the  effort  our  time  and  means  will  permit  to  edify  and 
instruct  ourselves  in  our  responsible  maternal  duties.  Read  this 
p.  m.  the  report  of  the  New  York  City  Association  for  1840,  and 
what  a  feast  it  was  to  us!  It  is  a  comforting  thought  to  us  in  a 
desert  land  to  know  that  we  are  so  kindly  remembered  by  sister 
Associations  in  our  beloved  land.  But  the  constant  watch  and 
care  and  anxiety  of  a  missionary  mother  cannot  be  known  by 
them  except  by  experience.  Sister  G.  has  two  of  her  own  and  I 
have  three  half-breeds.  1  believe  I  feel  all  the  care  and  watchful- 
ness over  them  that  I  should  it  they  were  my  own.  I  am  sure 
they  are  a  double  tax  upon  my  patience  and  perseverance,  partic- 
ularly Helen;  she  wants  to  rule  everyone  she  sees.  She  keeps  me 
on  guard  continually  lest  she  should  get  the  upper  hand  of  me. 
The  little  boy  appears  to  be  of  a  pretty  good  disposition,  and  I 
think  will  be  easy  to  govern.  He  proves  to  be  younger  than  I 
first  thought  he  was;  he  is  not  yet  three  years  old — probably  he 
is  the  same  age  Helen  was  when  she  came  here.  His  old  grand- 
mother has  been  in  to  see  him  today,  but  appears  to  have  no  dis- 
position to  take  him.  She  wanted  I  should  give  her  something 
to  eat  every  now  and  then,  because  I  had  got  the  child  to  live 
with  me  and  take  care  of,  also  old  clothes  and  shoes.  So  it  is 
with  them;  the  moment  you  do  them  a  favour  you  place  yourself 
under  lasting  obligations  to  them  and  must  continue  to  give  to 
keep  their  love  strong  towards  you.     I  make  such  bungling  work 


150  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

of  writing  this  eve  I  believe  I  will  stop,  for  I  can  scarcely  keep 
my  head  up  and  eyes  open.  So  good  night,  J.,  for  you  do  not 
come  to  sleep  with  me,  and  I  must  content  myself  with  Mary 
Ann. 

nth. — Dear  Jane,  I  am  sick  tonight  and  in  much  pain — have 
been  scarcely  able  to  crawl  about  all  day.  The  thought  comes 
into  my  mind,  how  good  to  be  relieved  of  care  and  to  feel  the 
blessing  of  a  sympathizing  hand  administering  to  the  necessities 
of  a  sick  and  suffering  body,  and  whose  presence  would  greatly 
dispel  the  gloom  that  creeps  over  the  mind  in  spite  of  efforts  to 
the  contrary.  But  I  must  not  repine  or  murmur  at  the  dealings 
of  my  Heavenly  Father  with  me,  for  he  sees  it  necessary  thus  to 
afflict  me  that  His  own  blessed  image  may  be  perfected  in  me. 
O,  what  a  sinful,  ungrateful  creature  I  am — proud  and  disobedi- 
ent. I  wonder  and  admire  the  long-suffering  patience  of  God 
with  me,  and  long  to  be  free  from  sin  so  that  I  shall  grieve  Him 
no  more.  But  there  is  rest  in  heaven  to  the  weary  and  wayworn 
traveler,  and  how  blessed  that  we  may  "hope  to  the  end  for  the 
grace  that  shall  be  given  unto  us  at  the  revelation  of  Jesus 
Christ."  Pray  for  us,  J.  and  E.,  for  we  need  your  prayers  daily. 
Goodnight. 

12th. — I  would  that  I  could  describe  to  you  what  I  have  felt 
and  passed  through  since  writing  the  above.  Before  I  could  get 
to  bed  last  night  I  was  seized  with  such  severe  pains  in  my  stom- 
ach and  bowels  that  it  was  with  difficulty  that  I  could  straighten 
myself.  I  succeeded  in  crawling  about  until  I  got  something  to 
produce  perspiration,  thinking  it  might  proceed  from  a  cold,  and 
went  to  bed.  About  two  o'clock  in  the  morning  Sister  Gray  sent 
for  me,  for  she  was  sick  and  needed  my  assistance.  When  I  was 
waked  I  was  in  a  profuse  perspiration.  What  to  do  I  did  not 
know.  Neither  of  them  knew  that  I  was  sick  the  day  before.  I 
at  last  concluded  that  I  would  make  the  effort  to  go,  casting  my- 
self for  preservation  on  the  mercy  of  God.  Mr.  Cook,  the  man 
who  came  after  me,  made  a  large  fire  for  me  in  my  room,  and  I 
was  enabled  to  dress  and  dry  myself  without  getting  cold,  the 
weather  having  moderated  some  from  what  it  was  a  few  days  ago. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  151 

I  bundled  myself  pretty  well  and  went  with  Mr.  C.'s  assistance, 
for  I  felt  but  very  little  better  able  to  walk  than  I  did  the  evening 
before,  yet  not  in  so  much  pain.  When  I  arrived  the  babe  was 
born,  and  Bro.  Gray  was  washing  it.  In  the  meantime,  after  they 
were  informed  how  I  was,  the}-  sent  me  word  not  to  come  if  I 
was  not  able.  I  took  the  babe  and  dressed  it,  and  have  been  there 
all  day  with  my  children,  although  I  have  not  been  able  to  sit 
up  all  day.  Both  mother  and  babe  are  comfortable  tonight,  and 
I  have  come  home  to  spend  the  night  and  Sabbath,  leaving  Mr. 
G.  with  the  care  of  them  tomorrow.  They  have  a  good  Hawaiian 
woman,  which  is  a  great  mercy. 

Sab.  Eve.,  13th — Was  kept  awake  last  night  by  the  headache 
considerably,  and  it  has  continued  most  of  the  day.  Bro.  G.'s 
house  is  very  open,  and  the  change  from  ours  affects  me  unfav- 
ourably generally.  Notwithstanding  feeble  health,  this  Sabbath 
has  been  a  precious  day  to  me.  A  quiet  resting  upon  God  is  eve- 
ry thing,  both  in  sickness  and  in  health.  My  heart  cries,  O,  for 
sanctifying  grace  that  I  may  not  become  hardened  under  afflic- 
tion. 

14th. — I  have  this  day  entered  upon  my  thirty-fifth  year,  and 
had  my  dear  Alice  C.  been  alive  she  would  have  been  five  years 
old,  for  this  was  her  birthday  as  well  as  mine.  Precious  trust! 
she  was  taken  away  from  the  evil  to  come.  I  would  not  have  it 
otherwise  now.  All  things  are  for  the  best,  although  we  may  not 
see  it  at  the  time.  Spent  the  day  with  Sister  G.,  although  not 
able  to  do  much.  Have  been  taking  medicine  and  feel  some  bet- 
ter this  eve,  and  hope  to  be  better  still  tomorrow. 

15th — Have  been  with  Sister  Gray  all  day.  There  is  so  much 
there  and  all  around  us  to  call  forth  feelings  of  sympathy*  and 
care,  that  I  have  been  so  excited  all  day  as  not  to  scarcely  realize 
my  own  state  of  health  until  I  retire  from  it,  and  then  I  find  my- 
self completely  exhausted.  Thus  it  is  that  the  missionary  is  so 
soon  worn  out,  and  his  health  fails  and  he  is  obliged  to  leave  the 
field.  He  constantly  sees  work  enough  for  his  utmost  time  and 
strength,  and  much,  very  much  that  must  remain  undone  for  the 


152  OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

1 

want  of  hands  to  do  it.  We  feel  a  merciful  and  timely  relief  in 
the  association  of  Bro.  and  Sister  Gray  in  our  labours  at  this  station. 
Had  we  continued  much  longer  without  help  we  should  have  been 
obliged,  both  of  us  without  doubt,  to  have  retired  from  the  field 
as  invalids.  Yet  still  there  is  just  as  much  as  we  all  can  possibly 
do,  and  more,  too,  for  every  year  brings  increased  labours  and  de- 
mands upon  us,  and  doubtless  will  continue  to  if  there  is  much 
emigration  to  this  country. 

Edward,  if  you  are  thinking  to  become  a  missionary,  you 
would  do  well  to  write  a  sermon  on  the  word  PATIENCE  every 
day.  Study  well  its  meaning;  hold  fast  on  to  patience  and  never 
let  go,  thinking  all  thetime  that  you  will  have  more  need  of  her  by 
and  by  than  ever  you  can  have  while  you  remain  at  home.  But 
I  must  stop  before  I  exhaust  myself,  and  gain  strength  for  the 
duties  of  the  morrow  by  rest. 

21st — It  will  be  three  weeks  tomorrow  since  dear  husband 
left,  and  I  am  feeling  tonight  almost  impatient  for  his  return. 
It  has  been  stormy  and  cold  every  day  since  he  left.  Indeed,  we 
have  had  our  winter  in  this  month,  and  now  the  rivers  are  so  high 
that  it  is  almost  impossible  to  cross  them  without  swimming.  I 
feel  that  the  Lord  has  mercifully  and  tenderly  sustained  and  kept 
me  from  anxious  feelings  about  him  thus  far  during  his  absence. 
Doubtless  he  has  suffered  much,  but  the  Lord  will  preserve,  I  hope, 
and  return  him  again  to  me,  filled  with  a  lively  sense  of  His 
goodness  to  us  continually.  The  Indians  feel  his  absence  very 
much,  especially  Sabbaths.  They  are  here  so  short  a  time  they 
do  not  like  to  have  him  gone. 

Today  I  have  had  the  care  of  Sister  G.'s  two  children  and  my 
three*  which  has  been  a  hard  day's  work  for  me.  I  am  more  and 
more  pleased  with  my  little  boy  every  day.  He  is  so  mild  and 
quiet,  and  so  happy  in  his  new  situation  that  I  have  not  had  the 
least  regret  that  I  took  him  in.  He  is  learning  to  talk  English 
extremely  well- -much  faster  than  my  two  girls  did.  The  second 
Sabbath  he  went  about  the  room  saying,  "I  must  not  work,  I 
must  not  work,"  and  also  a  part  of  a  line  of  a  hymn  he  had  heard 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 53 

us  sing,  "Lord  teach  a  little  child  to  pray," — all  that  he  could  say 
was,  "a  child  to  pray,  a  child  to  pray."  He  is  learning  to  sing, 
also;  he  seems  to  have  a  natural  voice,  and  learns  quick.  I  think 
husband  will  have  no  objections  to  keeping  him  when  he  sees 
what  a  promising  boy  he  is. 

Sister  Gray  is  recovering  very  fast;  she  came  out  into  the 
kitchen  yesterday  to  supper,  and  today  she  has  dressed  her  babe, 
which  is  but  ten  days  old.  She  took  the  advantage  of  me  and 
dressed  it  before  I  could  get  over  there  this  morning.  She  was 
going  about  her  own  room  before  it  was  a  week  old.  Perhaps  you 
will  think  we  do  as  the  natives  do  when  we  are  among  natives. 
She  certainly  is  very  well,  and  we  ought  to  be  very  thankful,  and 
I  trust  we  are.  We  all  see  so  much  to  do  that  it  is  difficult  to 
keep  still  when  it  is  possible  to  stir.  So  goodnight,  J.  and  R.,  for 
my  sheet  is  full. 

26th — Husband  arrived  today  about  noon,  to  the  joy  of  all  the 
inhabitants  of  Waiilatpu.  Mr.  Eells  came  with  him.  His  jour- 
ney was  prosperous  beyond  our  most  sanguine  expectations,  for 
the  day  that  he  would  have  been  obliged  to  take  snow  shoes  was 
so  cold  that  by  taking  the  morning  very  early  they  went  on  the 
top  of  the  snow  and  arrived  there  in  safety  the  Saturday  after  he 
left  here.  Sister  Walker  has  a  son,  born  on  the  16th,  four  days 
after  the  birth  of  Sister  Gray's.  They  call  him  Marcus  Whitman. 
So  it  is,  dear  J.  and  E.,  that  the  Lord  cares  for  and  preserves  us; 
and  it  seemed  more  than  ever  as  if  He  sustained  me  from  anxiety 
and  gave  me  a  spirit  of  prayer  for  him,  and  answered  prayer  in 
his  safe  return  with  improved  health;  and  O,  may  the  lives  which 
He  does  so  mercifully  preserve,  be  devoted  more  entirely  to  His 
service. 

Bro.  Eells  came  for  his  boxes  and  will  return  next  week.  We 
are  cheered  with  an  occasional  visit  from  one  and  another,  which 
is  a  source  of  comfort  to  us  in  our  pilgrimage  here. 

This  sheet  is  full,  and    if  you  have  trouble  to  read  it,  say  so, 

and  I  will  not  do  so  again. 

Your  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 


154  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 


WaiilaTpu,  July  22nd,i842. 

My  Dear  Mrs.  Brezcer: — I  find  the  perusal  of  the  Memoirs  of 
Mrs.  Smith  so  deeply  interesting  to  myself,  that  I  desire  to  ask 
the  privilege  of  sending  it,  with  your  permission,  to  the  different 
sisters  of  this  mission,  as  one  or  two  of  them  have  begged  the 
reading  of  it.  It  is  most  too  precious  a  morsel  to  be  enjoyed 
alone  in  this  desert  land.  As  I  am  unable  to  write  to  Sister 
Perkins  this  opportunity,  I  will  just  say  I  forward  by  this  con- 
veyance a  few  numbers  of  the  New  York  Observer,  containing 
several  pieces  from  Dr.  Humphries'  pen  on  Education,  which  she 
requested  in  her  last  letter  to  me.  We  value  them  much  and 
desire  to  preserve  them. 

I  am  happy  to  hear  of  your  prosperity  in  the  addition  to 
your  family  of  a  little  daughter.  May  she  live  long  to  cheer  and 
bless  you  with  her  sweet  smiles. 

Hoping  for  the  pleasure  of  receiving  a  letter  from  you,  I  am, 
dear  sister,  yours  in  Christian    love. 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Mrs.  H.  B.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 


Waskopum,  March  nth,  1843. 

My  Dear  Harriet: — I  have  just  been  reading  your  letter,  writ- 
ten more  than  two  years  ago.  I  have  been  thinking  all  day  of 
writing  you,  but  can  scarcely  find  courage  enough;  even  now,  I 
feel  more  like  taking  my  bed  rather  than  writing,  much  as  I  long 
to  commune  with  you. 

From  a  letter  I  received  last  fall  from  Mr.  Dixon,  I  learn  that 
my  dear  Harriet  is  now  both  a  wife  and  a  mother.  Tender  and 
endearing  relations!  May  you  ever  prove  worthy  of  the  confidence 
and  affection  of  your  husband,  and  a  tender,  wise  and  judicious 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  1 55 

mother,  and  never  forget  that  you  are  training  immortal  spirits 
for  an  eternal  world.  If  you  have  never  read  "  Alcott's  Young 
Wife  and  Young  Mother,"  I  beg  you  will  procure  and  read  them. 
You  will  derive  great  benefit  from  them.  You  cannot  begin  too 
soon  to  study  your  duty  as  a  mother.  It  is  a  responsible  station, 
and  doubtless  you  feel  it  to  be  so.  Be  sure  and  make  it  your  busi- 
ness to  train  them  for  the  Lord,  and  hold  them  not  as  yours,  but 
His,  to  be  called  away  at  His  bidding.  This  is  an  interesting  theme 
to  me. 

When  you  write,  please  tell  me  about  your  maternal  associa- 
tion. I  want  to  know  all  about  them,  and  how  the  cause  prospers. 
We  have  an  association  here  consisting  of  the  missionary  mothers 
and  two  native  mothers,  who  are  the  wives  of  the  gentlemen  of 
this  country.  We  find  it  a  great  comfort  to  meet  together,  to  pray 
and  sympathise  with  and  for  each  other  in  this  desert  land  where 
we  have  so  few  privileges.  Please  remember  me  to  your  associa- 
tion, and  solicit  an  interest  in  the  prayers  of  those  praying  mothers 
for  the  missionary  mothers  of  Oregon. 

I  hope  by  this  time  you  have  had  a  good  visit  with  your  bro- 
ther Marcus.  I  presume  it  has  been  a  short  one.  Tell  me,  you 
that  have  enjoyed  the  sweets  of  connubial  bliss  long  enough  to 
know  the  happiness  it  affords,  how  would  you  like  to  be  so  wide- 
ly separated  and  for  so  long  a  time.  Think  you,  it  is  no  trial,  no 
sacrifice  of  feeling?  For  what  would  you  be  willing  to  make  such 
a  sacrifice?  Is  there  anything  in  this  lower  world  that  would  tempt 
you  to  it?  I  presume  not;  at  least  I  can  see  no  earthly  inducement 
sufficiently  paramount  to  cause  me  voluntarily  to  take  upon  my- 
self such  a  painful  trial.  Painful,  I  say?  yes,  painful  in  the  ex- 
treme to  the  natural  heart.  But  there  is  one  object,  our  blessed 
Saviour,  for  whose  sake,  I  trust,  both  you  as  well  as  we  are  willing 
if  called  to  it,  to  suffer  all  things.  It  was  for  Him,  for  the  advance- 
ment of  His  cause,  that  I  could  say  to  my  beloved  husband,  "Go; 
take  all  the  time  necessary  to  accomplish  His  work;  and  the  Lord 
go  with  and  bless  you."  Sacrifice  made  for  Him  will  not  go  unre- 
warded. Believe  me,  this  same  Heavenly  Friend  so  manifests 
himself  to  me,  sustains,  upholds,  and  comforts  me,  and  that,  too, 


156  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

almost  continually  as  to  enable  me  to  "glory  in  tribulation,"  yea 
to  rejoice  that  I  am  counted  worthy  to  suffer  for  His  sake.  He 
has  been  preparing  me  for  the  self-denial  for  some  time  past,  and 
no  time  more  effectually  than  when  he  was  pleased  to  take  my 
beloved  child  from  me.  Once  I  could  not  have  borne  it  without 
the  same  measure  of  grace  I  now  enjoy.  But  blessed  be  His  Holy 
Name,  it  is  from  Him  I  receive  all  things,  and  I  desire  to  be  whol- 
ly consecrated  to  Him.  I  feel  that  I  am  nothing — Jesus  is  my  all, 
His  righteousness  alone  I  plead;  in  Him  my  guilty  soul  expects 
to  find  a  full  and  free  salvation. 

I  hope  the  hand  and  the  heart  that  has  got  possession  of  my 
beloved  Harriet's  will  please  accept  of  a  sister's  love,  although  we 
have  never  been  privileged  with  an  acquaintance,  and  may  never 
meet  in  this  world.  Ma}-  I  not  hope  to  receive  letters  from  you 
both,  and  frequently,  too?  Can  such  a  thing  be  under  the  sun 
that  my  husband  will  prevail  on  you  to  come  to  Oregon  to  spend 
your  days?  I  know  you  would  say,  I  cannot  leave  pa  and  ma  to  go 
so  far. 

Give  much  love  to  sister  C.  and  her  husband;  tell  her  to  please 

consider   this  as  written   to   her,  if  I  am  unable   to  write   her   by 

this  opportunity.     I  think  of  sister  Mary  Ann  as  being  a  guardian 

angel   to  me  sometimes.     When  shall  I   be  one  to  you?  I   think 

sometimes  it  will  not  be  long.     Again  I  send  love  to  J.  G.  and  all 

the  family.     Many  kisses  for  all  the  babies. 

Your  affectionate  sister, 

Narcissa. 
Mrs.  John  W.  Jackson, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York,  U.  S.  A. 


Fort  George,  August  nth,  1843. 

My  Dear  Parents: — I  .am  now  at  the  mouth  of  the  Columbia 
river.  I  came  down  with  Rev.  Daniel  Lee  of  Waskopum,  where  I 
spent  the  last  winter,  and   Mr.  Leslie.     He  and   his  family  are  ex- 


TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION  1 57 

peering  to  leave  in  the  ship,  that  is  now  on  its  way  down  the  river, 
for  the  States.  Doctor  Babcock  and  his  family  of  the  same  mis- 
sion are  going  on  the  same  vessel  to  the  Islands,  also  Mr.  Frost 
and  family  are  leaving  the  missionary  field,  by  the  same  opportu- 
nity and  going  home.  Thus  one  after  another  of  our  Methodist 
brethren  leave  the  country  and  go  to  the  States.  This  is  very  dis- 
couraging to  those  who  remain.  Some  of  our  number  have  done 
the  same; — Mr.  Smith  and  Mr.  Gray  and  their  families.  Ministe- 
rial and  missionary  work  is  increasing  in  the  country,  and  the  la- 
bourers are  decreasing. 

My  beloved  parents  may  think  it  strange  that  I  should  wan- 
der about  the  country  so  much  when  my  dear  husband  is  absent. 
The  Lord  is  very  merciful  and  of  great  kindness  to  me  in 
showing  me  so  many  favours  in  my  lonely  situation.  It  serves  to 
occupy  my  mind  and  keeps  me  from  undue  anxiety  concerning 
him;  and  besides  this,  journeying  is  beneficial  to  my  health.  I 
have  come  down  to  enjoy  the  benefit  of  a  sea  breeze,  and  visit  the 
mission  station  at  Clatsop  on  the  Pacific  coast.  I  am  now  enjoy- 
ing a  friendly  visit  in  the  family  of  Mr.  Birnie  at  this  fort.  When 
the  ship  leaves  I  shall  accompany  Rev.  Jason  Lee  to  Clatsop,  where 
I  expect  to  spend  a  few  days  and  return  with  Mr.  Lee  and  Mr. 
Leslie  to  the  Willamette  and  finish  my  visit  there.  Everywhere 
I  go  I  find  attention  and  kindness  far  more  than  I  deserve.  I  be- 
lieve I  wrote  to  pa  and  ma  while  I  was  at  Wascopum.  I  left  them 
and  went  up  the  river  in  the  company's  boats  in  charge  of  Mr. 
Grant,  the  first  of  April,  and  arrived  in  safety  after  a  voyage  of 
five  days.  I  went  home  and  arranged  affairs,  attended  upon  the 
company  of  Doctor  White  and  his  party,  which  consisted  of  Revs. 
Hinds  and  Perkins,  who  came  up  to  hold  a  meeting  with  the  In- 
dians. When  the  meeting  closed  I  accompanied  them  to  Walla 
Walla,  and  on  the  first  day  of  June  left  there  in  the  brigade  for 
Vancouver,  Mrs.  McKiolay  accompanying  me.  In  coming,  Dr. 
White  recommended  me  to  the  attention  of  Dr.  Barclay,  an  emi- 
nent physician  of  the  fort.  I  remained  there  about  two  months 
and  attended  faithfully  to  his  directions;  feeling  it  is  a  great  fa- 
vour to  have  so  good  an  opportunity  to  attend  to  my  health,  and 
to  be  so  free  from  care  and  labour.     I  left  two  of   the  children    in 


158  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

the  care  of  Mrs.  Littlejohn  and  Mrs.  Eells.  Helen  I  have  with  me 
About  the  last  of  July,  I  went  to  the  Willamette  Falls  and  spent 
most  of  my  time  in  the  families  of  Mr.  Abernethy  and  Mr.  Waller. 
The  latter  one  says  he  knew  pa  well ;  his  circuit  was  in  that  region 
and  he  resided  in  Friendship.  Last  Monday,  at  sundown,  I  left 
them  to  come  down  the  river  to  see  the  mission  families  leave. 

It  is  very  trying  to  part  with  dear  Brother  and  Sister  Lee.  I 
have  enjoyed  such  sweet  social  religious  privileges  with  them  the 
past  winter  that  I  feel  very  much  endeared  to  them.  I  cannot  feel 
very  willing  to  have  them  go.  It  is  but  very  recently  that  they  have 
talked  and  made  up  their  minds  to  go,  and  it  was  very  surprising 
to  us.  They  are  pious,  devoted  missionaries,  but  Mrs.  Lee's  health 
has  failed,  and  they  feel  it  their  duty  to  go  home.  They  were  from 
the  New  England  states  and  very  probably  pa  and  ma  will  not  see 
them.  Brother  Lee  says  he  will  write  to  pa  when  he  gets  home 
for  me.  I  send  this  by  him.  Doctor  Babcock  goes  to  the  Islands 
to  return  again;  it  is  possible  he  may  not.  He  is  from  Avoca.  I 
do  not  know  when  I  shall  see  my  dear  husband  again.  I  hope  in 
a  few  weeks  to  receive  letters  from  him  and  then  I  shall  know 
when  to  expect  him.  The  Lord  be  merciful  to  me  and  return  him 
to  my  arms  again  in  peace.  I  forbear  to  think  much  of  the  future, 
but  rest  it  with  the  Lord.  I  have  written  this  very  poorly.  The 
house  is  full  of  company  and  it  is  difficult  to  keep  my  thoughts. 
My  most  dearly  beloved  and  excellent  parents,  please  accept  of  my 
heartfelt  thanks  for  all  your  love  and  kindness  to  me,  and  be  as- 
sured of  the  sincere,  devoted  love  of   your  unworthy  daughter, 

Narcissa. 
Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York,  U.  S.  A. 


Waskopum,  March  31st,  1843. 

My  Dear  Brother: — Why    is  it    that   I    never  receive  a    letter 
from  you?    Have  you  no  time  to  write,  or  have  you  forgotten  me? 


TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION  1 59 

I  will  not  think  it;  not  that  you  do  not  love  me,  for  this  would 
make  me  unhappy.  Could  you  see  my  heart  and  know  how 
much  I  love  and  think  of  you  and  sympathize  with  you,  should  I 
not  receive  a  communication  from  you  and  thus  be  assured  of  your 
love  and  remembrance  of  me?  It  is  not  for  the  want  of  a  heart 
that  I  do  not  write  more  and  oftener  to  all  my  brothers  and  sisters, 
but  for  the  want  of  health  and  strength  to  do  it.  Now  I  am  de- 
prived of  the  society  of  my  beloved  husband,  I  realize  more  than 
ever  your  situation;  yet  not  its  keeneat  pang,  for  ourselves  is 
a  voluntary  and  temporary  separation,  while  yours  is — I  hardly 
know  whatto  call  it — an  unwilling  and  unnecessary  separation,  at 
least  on  your  part;  yet  I  hope  not  a  perpetual  one.  O  that  I  could 
hear  that  you  were  once  more  united  and  happy  in  all  thesweets  of 
domestic  bliss,  for  they  are  many,  and  when  giveu  us  from  the 
Lord,  how  we  should  prize  them.  Those  are  tender  ties  to  be 
separated  and  hang  bleeding  all  our  life,  but  the  Lord  permits  us 
thus  to  be  afflicted.  We  should  lean  on  Him  for  support.  And 
may  you,  dear  brother,  realize  as  much  of  the  blessed  Saviour's 
gracious  presence  as  I  do  in  my  lonely  situation,  and  have  it  con- 
tinued to  you  constantly.  I,  too,  kuow  the  blessed  effects  of 
affliction  to  purify  the  heart  and  sanctify  the  soul;  and,  notwith- 
standing their  keen  smart  and  writhing  pang,  yet  it  is  good  to  be 
afflicted;  they  are  choice  mercies  to  us,  for  when  He  has  tried  us, 
my  brother,  we  shall  come  forth  as  gold.  Our  greatest  care  should 
be,  not  to  murmur  or  complain  of  His  trying  dispensations  to- 
wards us,  but  feel  always  more  anxious  to  have  them  sanctified  to 
us  than  to  be  delivered  from  them — for  then  "patience  will  have 
her  perfect  work." 

O  what  would  I  give  could  I  see  you,  for  then  I  could  pour  a 
full  heart  into  your  bosom;  but  you  have  seen  my  better  self,  I 
hope,  and  enjoyed  a  sweet  visit  with  him,  for  me  as  well  as  for 
him.  You  will  write  me,  I  know,  by  him,  You  will  doubtless 
see  my  letter  to  father  and  mother.  I  have  given  the  particulars 
of  the  past  to  them. 

Recently,  intelligence  has  come  to  us  from  above  that  the  In- 
dians are  talking  and  making  preparations  for  war.     The  visit  of 


OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  160 

the  government's  agent  last  fall  has  caused  considerable  excite- 
ment. All  decisive  measures  and  language  used  to  them  they 
construe  into  threats,  and  say  war  is  declared  and  they  intend 
to  be  prepared.  They  have  heard  many  unwise  remarks  which 
have  been  made  by  designing  persons,  especially  a  half-breed 
that  came  up  with  the  agent  last  fall.  Such  as  troops  are  coming 
into  the  river  this  spring  and  are  corning  up  with  Dr.  White  to 
fight  them.  It  is  the  Kaiuses  that  cause  all  trouble.  There  are 
no  tribes  in  all  the  country  but  what  are  more  quiet  and  peace- 
able to  live  with  than  they  are.  If  any  mischief  is  going  ahead 
they  originate  and  carry  forward.  They  are  more  difficult  to 
labour  among  than  the  Nez  Perces.  They  are  rich,  especially  in 
horses,  and  consequently  haughty  and  insolent.  A  large  assem- 
blage is  expected  in  less  than  a  month  to  meet  in  the  valley  of 
Walla  Walla.  What  the  result  of  it  will  be,  time  will  determine 
From  the  excitement  and  talk  that  has  been  going  on  all  winter 
we  have  reason  to  fear  that  it  will  not  be  a  very  quiet  time.  The 
Indians  of  the  Buffalo  country  have  been  sent  for  by  the  high 
chief  of  the  Nez  Perces,  Ellis. 


Walla  Walla,  April  14th,  1843. 

My  Dear  Brother: — I  arrived  here  last  Saturday.  Left  Was- 
copum  Monday,  early  April  3rd,  and  came  with  Mr.  Grant,  who 
was  in  charge  of  the  Company's  boats,  three  in  number;  had  a 
pleasant  and  safe  voyage;  arrived  greatly  exhausted  with  fatigue 
but  feel  much  benefited  by  the  trip.  Two  days  after  I  received  a 
letter  from  Sister  Littlejohn  at  Lapwai  (Mrs.  Spalding's),  giving 
the  afflicting  news  of  the  death  of  her  only  son  by  drowning.  He 
fell  into  the  mill  floom  and  floated  down  out  of  sight  into  a  deep 
pit  and  was  not    found  until  it  was  too  late  to  bring    him  to  life. 

This  makes  the  sixth  person  that  has  been  drowned  since 
November  in  this  infant  country;  four  adults  and  two  children. 
Mr.  Olley,  of  the  Methodist  mission,  was  drowned  in  the  Wallam- 
ette  about  two  months  before  Brother  Rogers,  and  those  with  him. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  l6l 

What  the  Lord  means  by  the  removal  of  so  many,  we  know 
not,  but  feel  admonished  to  be  also  ready.  Brother  and  Sister 
Littlejohn  feel  their  affliction  deeply,  but  are  mercifully  support- 
ed under  it. 

The  excitement  among  the  Kaiuses  has  abated  considerable 
from  what  it  was  when  I  commenced  this  letter.  Mr.  McKinlay 
of  this  fort  has  been  to  Vancouver  and  brought  back  word  to 
them  from  Dr.  McLoughlin  that  they,  the  British,  do  not,  neither 
have  they  intended  to  make  war  upon  them.  This  relieves  them 
considerably.  Now  their  fear  is  the  Americans.  They  have  been 
led  to  believe  that  deceitful  measures  are  being  taken  to  rob  them 
of  their  land,  to  kill  them  all  off.  Language  like  this  has  been 
told  them,  and  at  the  meeting  last  fall,  "that  if  you  do  not  make 
laws  and  protect  the  whites  and  their  property,  we  will  put  you 
in  the  way  of  doing  it."  They  consider  this  a  declaration  to 
fight  and  the}7  have  prepared  accordingly.  We  hope  no  depreda- 
tions will  be  committed  upon  us  or  the  mission  property,  and 
think  the  difficulties  can  be  removed  and  adjusted  to  their  minds, 
but  not  without  the  most  prudent  and  wise  measures.  The  agent 
is  quite  ignorant  of  Indian  charactex"  and  especially  of  the  char- 
acter of  the  Kaiuses.  Husband's  presence  is  needed  very  much  at 
this  juncture.  A  great  loss  is  sustained  by  his  going  to  the  States,  ' 
I  mean  a  present  loss  to  the  station  and  Indians,  but  hope  and 
expect  a  greater  good  will  be  accomplished  by  it.  There 
was  no  other  way  for  us  to  do.  We  felt  that  we  could  not  remain 
as  we  was  without  more  help,  and  we  are  so  far  off  that  to  send 
by  letter  and  get  returns  was  too  slow  a  way  for  the  present  emer- 
gency. 

I  intend  to  go  up  to  Waiilatpu  as  soon  as  the  water  falls;  it 
is  so  high  now  and  is  rising  so  that  I  cannot  cross  the  rivers.  I 
shall  write  some  of  the  family  by  the  mountain  route;  this  I 
send  by  the  express  to  Montreal. 

Would  it  be  a  strange  thing  if  I  should  see  you  coming  to 
this  country  with  my  husband?  You  will  write  me  to  pay  for 
this  I  hope.  Remember  I  have  not  heard  a  word  about  the  death 
of    that   sister  yet,    and  perhaps  still    greater  inroads    have    been 


) 


1 62  TWENTY-FIRST  ANNUAL   REUNION 

made  in    the  dear    circle   that  I  have    yet  to  be    informed  of.     It 
will  not  be  many  years    before  we  shall  all  be    transplanted,  and 

0  may  it  be  into  the  paradise  above,  and  not  one  of  us  be  missing. 

I  want  very  much  to  hear  about  your  little  daughter,  your- 
self and  all  your  affairs,  and  how  you  feel  and  live  from  day  to 
day,  and  what  you  are  doing  for  the  cause  of  Christ.  How  does 
the  doctor  appear  to  you?  How  have  you  enjoyed  your  visit  with 
him?  Living  alone  in  the  midst  of  a  savage  people,  without  see- 
ing much  company,  we  lose  our  polish  and  doubtless  would  ap- 
quite  uncouth  to  the  civilized  world.  This  is  one  of  the  mission- 
ary's trials,  because  he  is  apt  to  be  despised  for  it. 

Love  to  all.     Pray  for  your  loving  sister, 

Narcissa. 

Your  spectacles  are  of  great  use  to  me.  I  should  not  know 
how  to  do  without  them.  My  eyes  have  failed  me  almost  entire- 
ly. I  think  sometimes  I  have  reason  to  think  of  you  pretty  often. 

1  should  like  a  pair  of   green  double   plain  glasses.     Hope  doctor 
will  bring  some.  Farewell. 

N. 
Jonas  Galusha  Prentiss,  Esq., 

Angelica,  Allegheny  County, 
New  York, 

U.  S.  A. 


Waiilatpu,  August  23,  1842. 

Rev.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Allen,  Cuba,  My  Dear  Christian  Friends: — 
I  have  this  morning  been  thinking  deeply  upon  our  situation  and 
wants  as  a  mission,  the  spiritual  condition  of  the  native  popula- 
tion, and  the  interests  of  the  country  at  large  as  it  respects  the 
prosperity  of  the  cause  of  Christ  on  the  one  hand  and  the  exten- 
sion of  the  powers  and  dominion  of  Romanism  on  the  other.  The 
thought  occurred  to  me,  I  will  sit  down  and  write  to  this  dear 
brother  and  sister,  and  solicit  an  interest  in  their  prayers  and 
those  of  their  beloved  charge  for  us;  it  may  be  it  will  give  such  a 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  163 

spring  to  the  work  that  angels  will  strike  their  harps  anew,  and 
a  song  of  praise  be  put  into  the  mouths  of  many  who  are 
now  in  the  broad  road  to  ruin.  Think,  if  you  please,  of  the  soli- 
tary missionary  labouring  and  toiling,  without  a  single  Aaron  or 
Hur  to  stay  up  his  hands!  What  slow  progress  must  he  make,  if 
any  at  all,  where  the  preaching  and  praying  are  all  to  be  done  by  the 
same  individual!  Perhaps  you  will  say,  and  justly,  too,  that  we 
do  pray  for  you  continually.  My  dear  friends,  let  me  entreat  you 
to  offer  up  special  prayer  in  our  behalf,  for  we  need  it  more  than 
I  can  express.  In  the  first  place,  we  need  more  missionaries,  and 
those  of  us  who  are  now  on  the  ground  need  your  prayers  emi- 
nently, not  as  those  who  have  already  attained  unto  perfect  men 
and  women  in  Christ,  but  as  greatly  in  want  of  an  enlargement 
in  every  Christian  grace,  if  not  an  entire  renovation  of  soul  to 
God. 

The  Kayuses,  Nez  Perces,  Spokans,  and  all  the  adjacent  tribes 
need  your  prayers,  for  they  are  a  dark-minded,  wandering  people, 
having  hearts,  but  understand  not  the  truth.  I  will  give  you  the 
language  of  one  of  them  in  a  talk  made  three  Sabbaths  ago.  Af- 
ter listening  to  an  exposition  of  the  truth  contained  in  Proverbs, 
5th  chapter,  he  said:  "  Your  instruction  is  good;  the  wise  and  dis- 
creet appreciate  it;  fur  the  mass  of  us,  we  hear  it,  but  it  falls  pow- 
erless upon  our  hearts,  and  we  remain  the  same  still."  I  felt  it 
deeply  as  a  reproof  for  our  unbelief,  and  want  of  faithful,  earnest 
prayer  in  their  behalf.  The  present  is  the  harvest  time  with 
them.  We  know  not  how  soon  ardent  spirits  will  be  introduced 
into  the  country  to  distract  and  impede  our  work.  Settlers  are 
beginning  to  come  around  us,  and  their  influence  will  not  be  the 
most  congenial,  as  they  are  mostly  men  living  with  native  wo- 
men, who  have  for  many  years  been  wandering  in  the  deep  re- 
cesses of  the  mountains,  indulging  themselves  in  every  species  of 
vice  and  wickedness  until,  as  one  of  them  frankly  confessed  to 
me  a  short  time  since,  they  were  wickeder  than  the  Indians  around 
them.  Perhaps  most  of  them  have  received  the  elements  of  a 
Christian  education  in  their  childhood  years,  and  some  have 
Christian  parents.  These,  also,  are  eminently  a  subject  for 
your  prayers. 


164  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

Romanism  stalks  abroad  on  our  right  hand  and  on  our  left, 
and  with  daring  effrontery  boasts  that  she  is  to  prevail  and  pos- 
[  sess  the  land.  I  ask,  must  it  be  so?  Does  it  not  remain  for  the 
people  of  God  in  this  and  Christian  lands  to  say  whether  it  shall 
I  be  so  or  not?  "Is  not  the  Lord  on  our  side?"  "If  He  is  for  us, 
who  can  be  against  us."  The  zeal  and  energy  of  her  priests  are 
without  a  parallel,  and  many,  both  white  men  and  Indians,  wan- 
der after  the  beasts.  Two  are  in  the  country  below  us,  and  two 
far  above  in  the  mountains.  One  of  the  latter  is  to  return  this 
fall  to  Canada,  the  States  and  the  eastern  world  for  a  large  rein- 
forcement. How  true — "while  men  slept,  the  enemy  came  and 
sowed  tares."  Had  a  pious,  devoted  minister,  a  man  of  talent, 
come  into  the  country  when  we  did  and  established  himself  at 
Vancouver,  to  human  appearance  the  moral  aspect  of  this  country 
would  not  be  the  same  as  it  is  now;  at  least,  we  think  Papacy 
would  not  have  gained  such  a  footing.  But  the  past  cannot  now 
be  retrieved.  It  remains  for  us  to  redeem  the  time;  to  stand  in 
our  lines  and  fight  manfully  the  battles  of  the  Lord. 

We  send  our  imploring  cry  to  you  and  ask,  who  will  come  to 
our  help  and  who,  remaining,  will  sustain  us  in  the  work  by  the 
mighty  power  of  prayer?  Without  it,  our  work  will  be  in  vain, 
and  perhaps  worse  than  in  vain. 

We  have  a  concert  of  prayer  on  Tuesday  evenings,  called  the 
Oregon  Concert,  in  which  the  members  of  this  mission  and  our 
Methodist  brethren  and  sisters  in  the  lower  country  unite  to 
pray  for  the  success  of  the  cause  of  Christ  in  Oregon. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  you  to  know  something  of  what  has 
been  done  since  we  came  here.  The  missionaries  in  this  field,  as 
all  Indian  missions,  have  not  only  the  spiritual  wants  of  the 
people  to  attend  to,  but  are  obliged  to  provide  for  their  own  sus- 
tenance and  comfort  by  cultivating  land,  building  houses,  mills, 
etc., and  school  houses,  etc.,  for  the  people.  These  greatly  divide 
his  mind  from  his  more  appropriate  mission  work,  and  fill  it 
with  distracting  cares,  causing  him  to  mourn  and  be  filled  with 
grief  that    so  little    is    accomplished  for    the    soul,  the    immortal 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  165 

part  of  man.  Yet  we  have  the  satisfaction  to  feel  that  good  has 
been  and  is  done  to  them  through  this  channel,  and  as  well  as 
the  more  direct  way  of  instruction. 

The  Kayuses,  almost  to  a  man,  have  their  little  farms  now  in 
every  direction  in  this  valley,  and  are  adding  to  it  as  their  means 
and  experience  increases. 

[Remainder  of  this  letter  missing. — Sec'v.] 


-y^Vw^ 


WaiilaTpu,  Sept.  29th,  1842. 

My  Dear  Jane  and  Edivard: — I  sit  down  to  write  you,  but  in 
great  haste.  My  beloved  husband  has  about  concluded  to  start 
next  Monday  to  go  to  the  Uuited  States,  the  dear  land  of  our 
birth;  but  I  remain  behind.  I  could  not  undertake  the  journey, 
if  it  was  considered  best  for  me  to  accompany  him,  that  is  to 
travel  as  he  expects  to.  He  hopes  to  reach  the  borders  in  less 
than  three  months,  if  the  Lord  prospers  his  way.  It  is  a  dread- 
ful journey,  especially  at  this  season  of  the  year;  and  as  much  as 
I  want  to  see  you  all,  I  cannot  think  of  ever  crossing  the  moun- 
tains again — my  present  health  will  not  admit  of  it.  I  would  go 
by  water,  if  a  way  was  ever  open;  but  I  have  no  reason  to  think 
I  ever  shall. 

If  you  are  still  in  Quincy  you  may  not  see  him  until  his  re- 
turn, as  his  business  requires  great  haste.  He  wishes  to  reach 
Boston  as  early  as  possible  so  as  to  make  arrangements  to  return 
next  summer,  if  prospered.  The  interests  of  the  missionary  cause 
in  this  country  calls  him  home. 

Now,  dear  Jane,  are  you  going  to  come  and  join  me  in  my 
labours?  Is  dear  Edward  so  far  advanced  as  not  to  need  your 
aid  any  more?  Do  you  think  you  would  be  contented  to  come 
and  spend  the  remainder  of  your  life  on  mission  ground?  If  so, 
make  your  mind  known  to  husband  and  he  will  make  arrange- 
ments for  you  at  Boston  to  come.  Count  the  cost  well  before  you 
undertake  it.     It    is  a    dreadful    journey  to    cross  the  mountains, 


1 66  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

and  becoming  more  and  more  dangerous  every  year;  but  if  any 
mission  families  come,  you  will  find  no  difficulty  in  placing 
yourself  under  their  protection.  Bring  nothing  with  you  but 
what  you  need  for  the  way,  and  a  Sunday  suit,  a  Bible  and  some 
devotional  book  for  your  food  by  the  way.  Send  the  remainder 
by  ship.  When  E.  has  well  finished  his  education,  I  hope  he  will 
come,  also,  for  there  will  be  work  enough  here  to  do  by  that 
time.  At  any  rate,  if  you  do  not  come,  spend,  if  you  please,  all 
the  time  you  can  in  writing  me  until  he  comes  back,  for  he  wishes 
to  return  next  summer.  Now  do  not  disappoint  me,  for  I  have 
not  heard  a  word  from  either  of  you  since  March,  1840.  I  have 
written  you  much  since  that  time,  but  it  may  not  have  reached 
you. 

I  shall  be  left  alone  at  this  station  for  a  season,  until  Mr. 
Gray  can  send  some  one  up  from  below  to  take  the  charge;  and 
he  has  left  the  mission  and  goes  to  engage  in  a  public  school.  I 
hope  to  have  Mr.  Rogers  or  Mr.  Iyittlejohn  to  winter  here — the 
latter  wishes  to  return  to  the  States  iu  the  spring. 

Now,  dear  J.  and  E.,  adieu.  I  hope  you  will  see  husband 
long  enough  to  have  a  good  visit  with  him.  I  hope  he  will  call 
as  he  goes  along.  If  he  has  time,  he  will,  but  his  business  re- 
quires haste,  if  he  returns  next  spring. 

Please  give  much  love  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Beardsley;  tell  her  I 
shall  never  cease  to  remember  and  love  her,  and  ardently  hope 
they  will  both  write  me.  I  should  like  to  hear  of  the  different 
members  of  her  family  with  whom  I  used  to  be  acquainted. 

Gladly  would  I  write  more  if  I  could,  but  must  write  a  line  to 
other  friends.  Pray  for  me  and  mine  while  we  are  separated  from 
each  other. 

Much  love  from  myself  to  you  both. 

Affectionately  your  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 

P.  S. — I  have  forgotten  to  speak  of  husband's  company  in 
travel.     He  is  Mr.  A.  L.  Lovejoy,  a  lawyer  who  came  up   from  the 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 67 

States  this  summer,  and  now  is  willing  and  anxious  to  return  fur 
the  good  he  may  do  in  returning.  He  will  probably  come  back, 
again.  He  is  not  a  Christian,  but  appears  to  be  an  intelligent, 
interesting  man. 

N.  W. 
Mr.  Edward  W.  Prentiss, 

Mission  Institute, 
Quincy,  Illinois. 
Favour  of  Ur.  Whitman.  Care  of  Rev.  Wm.  Beardsley. 


Waiilatpu,  Sept.  30th,  1842. 

My  Beloved  Parents,  Brothers  and  Sisters: — You  will  be  sur- 
prised if  this  letter  reaches  you  to  learn  that  the  bearer  is  my 
dear  husband,  and  that  you  will,  after  a  few  days,  have  the 
pleasure  of  seeing  him.  May  you  have  a  joyful  meeting. 
He  goes  upon  important  business  as  connected  with  the 
missionary  cause,  the  cause  of  Christ  in  this  land,  which  I  will 
leave  for  him  to  explain  when  you  see  him,  because  I  have  not 
time  to  enlarge.  He  has  but  yesterday  fully  made  up  his  mind  to 
go,  and  he  wishes  to  start  Monday,  and  this  is  Friday.  I  shall  be 
left  quite  alone  at  this  station  for  a  season  as  Mr.  G.  and  family 
leave  for  the  Wallamette  to  engage  in  a  public  school,  and  is  dis- 
missed from  this  mission.  I  hope  to  have  Mr.  Rogers  and  wife  to 
come  and  winter  here,  or  Mr.  Littlejohn,  perhaps  both,  and  next 
summer  I  intend  going  below  and  spending  some  time  in  visit- 
ing for  the  benefit  of  my  health,  that  is  to  relieve  myself  from 
care  so  that  I  shall  have  an  opportunity  to  recruit.  Now,  dear 
mother  will  wonder  why  I  could  not  come  with  him.  My  health, 
the  season  of  the  year,  the  speed  with  which  he  expects  to  travel, 
and  the  danger  of  the  way,  are  reasons  which  make  it  impossible 
for  me  to  accompany  him.  As  much  as  I  do  desire  to  see  my  be- 
loved  friends  once  more,  yet  I  cheerfully  consent  to  remain  be- 
hind, that  the  object  of  his  almost  immediate  presence  in  the 
land  of  our  birth  might,  if  possible,  be  accomplished.  He  wishes 
to  cross  the  mountains  during  this  month,  I  mean   October,  and 


1 68  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

reach  St.  Louis  about  the  first  of  Dec,  if  he  is  not  detained  by  the 
cold,  or  hostile  Indians.  O  may  the  Lord  preserve  him  through 
the  dangers  of  the  way.  He  has  for  a  companion  Mr.  Lovejoy,  a 
respectable,  intelligent  man  and  a  lawyer,  but  not  a  Christian, 
who  expects  to  accompany  him  all  the  way  to  Boston,  as  his  friends 
are  in  that  region,  and  perhaps  to  Washington.  This  is  a  com- 
fort to  me,  and  that  he  is  not  to  go  alone,  or  with  some  illiterate 
mountain  man,  as  we  at  first  expected  he  would  be  obliged  to. 
He  goes  with  the  advice  and  entire  confidence  of  his  brethren  in 
the  mission,  and  who  value  him  not  only  as  an  associate,  but  as 
their  physician,  and  feel,  as  much  as  I  do,  that  they  know  not  how 
to  spare  him;  but  the  interest  of  the  cause  demands  the  sacrifice 
on  our  part;  and  could  you  know  all  the  circumstances  in  the  case 
you  would  see  more  clearly  how  much  our  hearts  are  identified  in 
the  salvation  of  the  Indians  and  the  interests  of  the  cause  gener- 
ally in  this  country. 

I  cannot  write  but  little,  as  I  wish  to  give  several  of  my  friends 
at  least  a  line  or  two  to  encourage  them  to  remember  me  when 
he  returns.  He  hopes  to  come  back  next  summer,  and  I  do  hope 
each  one  of  my  brethren  and  sisters  will  tell  me  their  own  story 
on  paper  themselves,  for  husband  will  have  so  much  business  on 
his  mind  to  attend  to  that  he  will  not  remember  half  you  say  to 
him.  And  will  not  dear  father  and  mother  write  me  with  their 
own  hand  long  letters?  It  will  be,  indeed,  such  a  compensation 
for  our  separation,  and  I  trust  I  shall  feel  a  sufficient  reward  for 
permitting  him  to  leave  me  behind  and  to  make  his  visit  alone 
to  you.  Forgive  me,  dear  mother,  if  he  is  the  sole  theme  of  this 
letter;  I  can  write  about  nothing  else  at  this  time.  He  is  inex- 
pressibly dear  to  me.  Once  when  Mr.  Lee  left  his  wife  and  she 
died  in  his  absence,  I  thought  I  never  could  consent  to  be  left  so, 
but  since  the  death  of  our  beloved  A.  Clarissa,  the  sundering  of 
that  strong  and  tender  tie  has,  I  trust,  loosened  my  affections  to 
earthly  objects,  or  in  other  words  divided  my  heart  by  removing 
that  tender  object  of  a  mother's  love  to  my  heavenly  home,  thus 
admonishing  me  to  hold  my  affections  more  in  subserviency  to 
His  blessed  will  for  objects  of  earth,  however  strong  the  ties  may 
be,  and    increased   my  attachments  above.     It  seems  we  have  an- 


OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  1 69 

other  object  added  to  increase  our  attachments  to  the  home,  which 
our  Saviour  has  gone  to  prepare  for  us. 

I  have  just  heard  of  the  death  of  Sister  M.  A.  Judson,  but 
know  nothing  of  the  particulars,  but  hope  to  this  fall  by  ship. 
I  long  to  know  more  about  it.     I  hope  Brother  J.  is  supported. 

I  hope  you  will  have  a  long  visit  with  your  son  and  brother, 
and  a  profitable  one,  and  be  cheered  by  it,  and  may  he  be  pre- 
served to  return  again.  I  can  write  no  more.  Adieu,  my  beloved 
parents,  brothers  and  sisters.  May  the  rich  blessings  of  heaven 
rest  upon  us  all,  and  we  be  so  happy  as  to  meet  in  heaven. 

Affectionately  yours, 

N.  Whitman. 

P.  S. — I  hear  that  Sister  H.  is  a  mother.  I  hope  she  and  her 
husband  will  write  me,  also  sister  Clarissa  and  her  husband,  and 
J.  G.  I  have  written  to  that  brother,  but  have  received  none  from 
him.  I  would  write  to  brother  J.  G.  if  I  had  time.  He  and  all 
others  must  receive  my  dear  husband  as  my  living  epistle  to  them 
and  write  me  by  him.  N.  W. 

Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Angelica,  Allegany  Co., 

New  York. 
Favour  of  Dr.  Whitman. 


Vancouver,  June  Sth,  1843. 

My  Beloved  Brother  and  Sister  Perkins:— I  have  but  a  mo- 
ment's notice  of  an  opportunity  of  sending  to  you.  Your  trunk 
was  forgotten  by  us  all  and  brought  on.  I  would  send  it  now  if 
I  could,  but  latin  says  his  boat  is  too  small  for  that  and  his  sheep. 
I  felt  very  sad  after  leaving  you,  particularly  as  my  visit  had  been 
so  marred  with  what  transpired  while  passing.  I  was  grieved  to 
see  it    affect    you,  as  it  was    very  natural    it  should.     Rut    there  is 


170  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

this  consolation  to  comfort  you,  and  in  this  case  it  is  yours  to  re- 
joice when  you  are  persecuted  for  righteousness'  sake. 

I  had  a  very  fatiguing  journey  down;  came  near  drowning 
in  the  portage  once.  One  of  the  boats  upset,  but  no  lives  lost 
The  boat  I  was  in  just  escaped  capsizing.  We  arrived  here  just 
before  sunset,  Sabbath;  displeased  with  myself  and  every  one 
around  me  because  of  the  profanation  of  the  holy  day  of  the 
Lord. 

Brother  Hinds  left  this  Tuesday  morning.  Dr.  Barclay  ad- 
vises that  I  remain  here  nearly  a  month  that  he  may  be  able  to 
satisfy  himself  respecting  my  case. 

This  is  but  a  poor  return  for  the  two  good  long  letters  I  have 
received  from  Brother  P.  and  the  one  from  sister,  yet  I  have  a 
heart  tilled  with  gratitude  and  Christian  sympathy  and  love  for 
you  and  those  little  ones  associated  with  you. 

Do  write  as  often  as  you  can,  both  of  you. 

Ever  yours, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Do  not  pay  for  these  letters. 


Waiilatpu,  Jan.  30th,  1844. 

Beloved  Sister: — I  received  your  kind  letter  and  the  accompany- 
ing book,  a  short  time  since  andenjoyed  to  hear  that  the  blessings 
of  our  kind  Heavenly  Father  are  still  resting  upon  you  and  yours. 
May  they  still  be  continued  and  yfcur  precious  lives  be  preserved 
long  for  the  poor  heathen's  sake. 

I  will  do  as  you  desire  and  forward  the  memoir  of  Mrs.  Smith 
to  Mrs.  Eells,  as  I  shall  have  a  good  opportunity  by  my  husband 
when  he  goes  to  attend  upon  Mrs.  Walker,  the  last  of  next 
month. 

After  I  arrived  at  Walla  Walla  last  fall,  I  spent  a  week  there, 
and  during  the  time  I  wrote  several  letters  and  sent  back   by  the 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  171 

express.  Since  that  time  I  have  not  been  able  to  write  to  any  one. 
I  was  not  well  when  I  left  W.  W.,  yet  I  thought  I  could  endure 
to  ride  here  in  one  day  in  a  wagon,  but  it  proved  too  much  for 
me.  We  were  in  the  evening  late  before  we  could  reach  home,  as 
they  had  to  go  slow  on  my  account,  and  I  took  cold.  For  six 
weeks  after,  I  scarcely  left  my  room  and  most  of  the  time  was 
confined  to  my  bed  more  or  less; — could  take  no  care  of  my  family, 
or  but  little.  Indeed,  I  was  in  a  much  more  miserable  state  than 
I  was  last  winter  while  with  you.  About  the  twentieth  of  Dec. 
I  was  taken  very  suddenly  with  the  inflammation  of  the  bowels, 
and  for  a  few  days  my  life  was  despaired  of.  But  the  Lord  in  His 
infinite  mercy  directed  and  blessed  means  for  my  restoration  in 
answer  to  pra}er. 

Since  that  time  I  have  gradually  gained  my  usual  strength  so 
that  I  am  able  to  see  to  my  domestic  concerns  more  than  I  have 
any  time  since  my  return.  I  have  not  suffered  from  the  disease  I 
took  medicine  for  last  summer,  but  a  new  and  more  precarious 
one  has  discovered  itself,  since  my  return,  yet  of  long  standing. 
It  consists  of  an  organic  affection  of  the  main  artery  below  the 
heart,  a  beating  tumour  which  is  liable  to  burst  and  extinguish 
life  at  any  moment.  There  is  no  remedy  for  it,  so  I  never  expect 
to  enjoy  better  health  than  I  do  at  present;  never  do  I  expect  to 
continue  long  on  the  earth. 

You  expressed  an  assurance  that  I  enjoyed  the  presence  of  my 
Saviour  in  my  affliction.  It  has,  indeed,  been  so  for  the  most  of 
the  time.  I  feel  that  His  mercies  are  very  great  to  me  and  that  I 
can  say  with  the  Apostle,  "For  me  to  live  is  Christ,  and  to  die  is 
gain."  So  long  as  it  pleases  Him  to  spare  my  life,  I  should  like 
to  live  for  my  family  and  the  poor  Indians' sake.  Notwithstand- 
ing I  felt  such  a  dread  to  return  to  this  place  of  moral  darkness, 
after  enjoying  so  much  of  civilized  life  and  Christian  privileges, 
yet  now  I  am  here,  I  am  happy  and  love  my  work  and  situation 
and  desire  to  live  long  to  see  the  cause  of  Christ  advanced 
in  this  dark  land.  Indeed,  I  think  I  never  enjoyed  the  privilege 
of  being  a  missionary  better  than  this  winter,  although  I  cannot 
do  but  little  if  any  more  than  instruct  my  family  and  pray  for 
and  sustain  the  hands  of  mv  dear  husband  in  his  labours. 


I72  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

My  family  consists  of  six  children  and  a  Frenchman  that 
came  from  the  mountains  and  stops  with  us  without  invitation. 
Mary  Ann,  however,  is  with  Mrs.  Littlejohn  now.  Two  English 
girls,  Ann  and  Emma  Hobson,  one  13  and  the  other  7,  of  the  par- 
ty stopped  with  us;  husband  engaged  to  take  them  in  the  first 
part  of  the  journey,  but  when  they  arrived  here  they  went  directly 
to  W.  Walla,  being  persuaded  not  to  stay  by  some  of  the  party 
on  account  of  the  Indians.  When  I  arrived  at  W.  W.  they  saw 
me  and  made  themselves  known  to  me  and  expressed  a  desire  to 
come  home  with  me.  The  girls  were  so  urgent  to  stop  that  I 
could  not  well  refuse  them,  and  their  father  was  obliged  to  give 
them  up.  I  felt  unwilling  to  increase  my  family  at  that  time, 
but  now  have  no  reason  to  regret  it,  as  they  do  the  greater  part  of 
my  work  and  go  to  school  besides.  I  should  like  to  keep  on  and 
tell  you  how  I  found  things  when  I  reached  home;  but  this  sheet 
is  full;  I  will,  however,  take  another  and  direct  it  to  Sister  Perkins, 
and  as  it  is  but  the  continuation  of  this,  I  presnme  she  will  allow 
you  the  privilege  of  reading  it.  I  sympathize  with  you  and  Mrs. 
M.  in  the  affliction  of  a  broken  breast.  Please  remember  me  to 
her  if  with  you. 

We  send  you  a  bunch  of  twine  and  desire  to  exchange  it  for 
some  shoe  thread  if  you  are  willing  and  can  spare  it. 

I  often  think  and  dream  of  you  and  the  scenes  of  the  past. 
Neither  do  I  forget  you  in  my  weak  supplications  at  a  throne  of 
grace  and  the  people  for  whom  you  labour;  but  especially  at  the 
seasons  of  our  mothers'  meetings  do  I  feel  a  meeting  of  hearts 
around  the  mercy  seat  clearer  and  sweeter  to  me  than  all  this 
earth  can  afford. 

Kind  regards  to  your  dear  husband,  and  please  give  many 
kisses  to  the  sweet  babes  for  me. 

Your  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 
Mrs.  L.  E.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 73 

WAHXATPU,  Jan.  31st,  1S44. 

Beloved  Sister: — My  story  was  so  long  that  I  could  not  put  it 
all  on  one  sheet,  so  I  told  Sister  Brewer  I  would  take  another 
and  direct  it  to  you,  for  I  presume  you  would  allow  her  the  pe- 
rusal. Before  I  begin,  however,  I  will  speak  of  the  interest  of  this 
day  to  us  as  mothers,  it  being  the  last  Wednesday  of  the  month, 
and  according  to  our  constitution  we  have  agreed  to  observe  it  as 
a  dav  of  fasting  and  prayer  on  our  own  account  and  our  chil- 
dren's. It  did  not  occur  to  me  last  winter  while  I  was  with  you. 
It  is  a  change  that  has  been  recently  made  in  our  constitution. 
It  is  a  pleasing  thought  to  feel  that  on  this  day  our  hearts  cen- 
tre at  one  point,  namely,  the  Mercy  Seat,  with  all  our  interesting 
charges  in  our  arms  as  the  mothers  of  old  were  agreed  in  bring- 
ing their  children  to  the  Saviour  while  on  the  earth.  Although 
we  are  so  widely  separated  in  person,  yet  we  meet  there  and  feel 
that  our  hearts  are  one  for  our  object  is  one,  and  a  dear  one,  too, 
to  every  mother's  heart.  O  when  shall  we  be  permitted  to  see 
these  heathen  mothers  as  anxious  and  enjoy  as  much  comfort  in 
bringing  their  children  to  the  Saviour  in  such  meetings  as  is 
their  privilege  to?  Perhaps  you  may  live  to  see  it,  but  I  have  no 
reason  to  think  1  shall.  I  have  written  to  Sister  B.  the  particu- 
lars concerning  my  health  to  which  I  must  refer  you.  I  must 
begin  my  story,  or  I  shall  not  be  able  to  finish  it  even  on  this 
sheet. 

When  I  arrived  home,  I  found  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Littlejohn  occu- 
pying my  bedroom.  She  was  sick,  having  been  confined  a  few 
days  before  I  came.  The  room  east  of  the  kitchen,  Mr.  East  and 
family  occupied — four  children,  all  small.  Mr.  Looney,  with  a 
family  of  six  children  and  one  young  man  by  the  name  of  Smith, 
were  in  the  Indian  room.  My  two  boys,  Perrin  Whitman  and 
David,  slept  up-stairs.  Alex.,  the  Frenchman,  in  the  kitchen,  and 
Mary  Ann  and  Helen  in  the  trundle-bed  in  the  room  with  Mr. 
Littlejohn.  The  dining  room  alone  remained  for  me,  husband 
and  my  two  English  girls;  all  of  these  were  fed  from  our  table 
except  Mr.  Looney's  family,  and  our  scanty  fare  consisted  of 
potatoes    and    corn    meal,   with   a   little   milk    occasionally,   and 


174  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    EEUNION 

cakes  from    the  burnt  wheat.     This  was    a  great    change  for    me 
from  the  well  furnished  tables  of  Waskopum  and   Willamette. 

Thus  it  continued  for  four  weeks  with  the  exception  of  the 
slaying  of  a  lean  hog  as  often  as  required.  Besides  those  fed  at 
our  table,  there  were  three  families  in  Mr.  Gray's  house  that  were 
supplied  with  provisions  by  us;  one  a  widow  woman  with  three 
children,  whose  husband  was  drowned  in  crossing  the  Snake 
river,  and  another  with  four,  and  an  aged  couple.  These  consti- 
tute the  foreign  inhabitants  of  Waiilatpu. 

In  about  five  weeks  after  my  return,  Mr.  L.  and  family  re- 
moved into  a  room  prepared  for  thein  over  the  cellar,  Mr.  Looney 
to  the  Prince's  house  up  the  river,  and  Mr.  East  to  Mr.  Spalding's, 
taking  with  them  one  of  the  daughters  of  Mrs.  Eyers,  the  widow, 
to  live  with  Mrs.  S.  During  all  this  period  and  for  some  time 
after  I  was  to  sick  too  make  any  effort  at  arranging  m}r  house,  or 
to  have  the  care  of  my  family,  and  the  confusion  and  noise  dis- 
tressed me  exceedingly,  for  every  child  about  the  house,  my  own 
with  the  rest,  were  as  wild  and  uncontrollable  as  so  many  wild 
animals. 

As  soon  as  Mrs.  L.  recovered  her  health  and  got  settled,  she 
opened  a  school  for  the  children  of  the  white  inhabitants  which 
numbers  fifteen  scholars.  Now  our  children  are  quite  tame  and 
manageable  and  we  feel  that  they  are  all  enjoying  a  great  privilege. 
How  many  times  I  have  thought  of  Henry  and  Ellen  and  wished 
they  could  enjoy  the  same.  For  about  a  month  past  my  health 
has  so  much  improved  that  I  have  had  strength  to  set  some  part 
of  my  house  in  order  by  degrees  and  to  relieve  my  husband  in 
his  care  of  the  family  in  a  good  measure.  He  never  expects 
me  to  be  anything  more  than  an  invalid,  consequently  my  labours 
will  be  circumscribed. 

I  hope  your  dear  husband  will  favour  us  with  his  presence  at 
our  expected  meeting,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Lee. 

111  all  things  I  desire  to  be  submissive  to  the  will  of  my  Sav- 
iour, although  at  times  I  have  felt  that  it  was  trying  to  be  taken 
away  in  the  midst   of  my  days  and  without  accomplishing  more 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 75 

for  Christ.     The    Lord's  time  is    the  best  for  us  if  we  can    always 
feel  it  to  be  so,  which  I  desire  to  do. 

Do  pray  for  your  unworthy  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 
Mrs.  Elvira  Perkins, 

Waskopum. 


Waiilatpu,  April  24,  1844. 

Dear  Sister  Brezcer:— I  hear  that  you  are  alone  and  I  thought 
I  would  write  a  little  to  comfort,  or  at  least  to  assure  you  that  I 
have  not  forgotten  you  or  yours,  although  I  am  unable  to  write 
as  much  as  I  would  like  to.  Your  letter,  together  with  the  accom- 
paning  ones,  came  in  a  good  time  when  they  did  us  much  good, 
and  I  have  wanted  very  much  to  reply  to  them  earlier,  but  have 
felt  too  unwell  most  of  the  time,  or  had  so  much  caie  I  could  not 
find  time  when  I  was  able.  You  have  had  the  trouble  of  enter- 
taining our  winter  visitors,  and  longer,  too,  I  fear,  than  you  knew 
how.  I  sympathize  with  you  and  hope  provisions  have  not  been 
as  short  with  you  as  us,  but  fear  they  have  been  more  so.  We  were 
greatly  in  hopes  that  we  should  have  one  of  your  number  to  visit 
with  us  this  spring,  but  it  seems  Mr.  and  Mrs.  P.  and  family  have 
gone  below.  I  hear  nothing  from  Sister  Abernethy  nor  any  of 
them  below;  I  desire  to  very  much.  I  wish  you  could  visit  us 
this  summer — will  you  not  try?  It  would  be  so  refreshing.  Do 
come — all  of  you.  How  I  do  desire  to  enjoy  another  refreshing 
season  of  divine  worship  and  social  privileges,  such  as  I  used  to 
last  summer.     But  1  do  not  know  as  I  may  ever  in  this  world. 

Our  Indians  have  been  very  much  excited  this  spring,  but  are 
now  quiet.  The  influx  of  emigration  is  net  a  going  to  let  us  live 
in  as  much  quiet,  as  it  regards  the  people,  as  we  have  done. 

I  must  close.  This  is  a  miserable  letter  and  not  worth  read- 
ing; I  have  written  in  such  haste.  But  this  one  thing  be  assured, 
I  still  love  and    think  of  you    with  increased   interest,  and   if   we 


176  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

meet  no  rnore  in  this  world,  it  gives  me  joy  to  think  we  may  meet 

in  Heaven  and  there,  being  washed  white  in  the  blood  of  the  Lamb, 

Praise  Him  continually. 

Affectionately  yours, 

N.  Whitman. 
Mrs.  L.  L.  Brewer, 

Waskopum. 


Waiilatpu,  Oregon  Territory,) 
May  18th,  1844.    j 

Mrs.  Lydia  E.  Porter,  My  Dear  Sister: — It  is  impossible  for 
me  to  describe  the  many  pleasing  associations  that  entwined 
around  my  heart  as  I  perused  the  three  tokens  of  affectionate  re- 
membrance received  by  the  hand  of  my  husband,  from  the 
friends  of  my  early  youth,  the  dearest  friends  of  my  heart,  and 
friends  of  my  Saviour,  too.  It  would  have  been  an  indescribable 
favour  to  have  participated  with  hirn  in  the  visit;  but  this  could 
not  have  been,  short  as  it  was.  It  is  a  great  satisfaction  to  me 
and  was  to  him  to  have  seen  your  faces  again  in  the  flesh.  That 
I  shall  ever  be  permitted  to  visit  my  dear  native  Prattsburg  again 
is  very  uncertain.  I  do  not  desire  to,  so  long  as  my  poor  ineffi- 
cient services  are  needed  here,  much  as  I  should  enjoy  the  visit.  I 
had  rather  try  to  induce  my  friends  to  come  and  see  me  and  seek 
a  home  in  Oregon.  A  wide  door  of  usefulness  is  open  here  to 
the  philanthropic  and  benevolent  heart.  Multitudes  are  flocking 
to  this  land  and  will  continue  to  in  still  greater  numbers,  and 
for  every  purpose.  And  our  anxious  desire  is  that  the  salt  of  the 
earth  should  be  found  among  them,  also  that  this  entire  country 
may  be  seasoned  with  heavenly  influence  from  above.  The  powers 
of  darkness  have  long  held  their  undivided  sway  over  this  land, 
and  we  feel  that  Satan  will  not  quietly  yield  his  dominions  to 
another.  He  is  on  the  alert  with  all  his  hosts,  and  in  as  many 
ways  as  he  has  numbers  employed  to  gain  the  entire  victory  to 
keep  and  drive  from  the  field  all  who  molest  or  disturb  his  quiet. 
Many  souls  are  here  for   whom  Christ  died,  and    multitudes  more 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 77 

unconcerned  are  hastening  to  this  far-distant  land  to  seek  their  for- 
tune of  wordly  goods,  regardless  of  their  treasure  in  heaven.  But 
thanks  be  to  the  hearer  of  prayer,  many  already  have  found 
Christ  in  Oregon,  who  have  long  rejected  him  in  a  gospel  land. 
Last  summer  while  husband  was  absent,  I  had  the  unspeakable 
happiness  of  attending  two  meetings  of  days  at  different  places — 
while  on  a  visit  to  the  Willamette  among  our  Methodist  friends. 
Almost  every  soul  was  affected  with  divine  truth  and  many,  we 
trust,  found  peace  in  believing. 

I  left  the  station  soon  after  husband's  departure  and  spent 
the  winter  with  Messrs.  Lee,  Perkins  and  Brewer's  families,  of  the 
Methodist  mission.  My  health  was  quite  poor,  indeed  I  was  un- 
able to  ride  to  any  of  the  stations  of  our  mission,  and  being  in- 
vited and  desirous  of  visiting  them,  I  availed  myself  of  the  oppor- 
tunity of  a  passage  down  the  river  in  the  express  boats.  In  April, 
returned  to  the  station,  and  in  June  went  to  Vancouver  and  the 
Willamette  on  a  visit,  as  there  was  no  female  society  at  the  sta- 
tion. I  enjoyed  my  visit  much;  having  been  so  long  from  the 
civilized  world,  it  seemed  good  to  get  among  Christians  once 
more.  I  was  in  the  Willamette  when  husband  arrived  at  this 
place.  He  could  not  come  for  me  as  he  had  to  visit  Brother  Spald- 
ing's on  an  express,  as  Sister  S.  was  then  at  the  point  of  death 
and  had  been  dangerously  ill  for  some  time.  But  she  has  been 
mercifully  spared  to  us,  and  is  now  enjoying  comfortable  health. 
From  Mr.  S.  he  returned  to  the  station  to  make  arrangements  for 
imparting  provisions  to  the  emigrants,  which  took  all  the  station 
raised  the  past  year,  leaving  us  to  obtain  our  supplies  from 
Brother  Spalding.  Immediately  he  was  obliged  to  go  a  hundred 
and  sixty  miles  to  Brother  Eells  to  attend  Sister  E.  in  her  expect- 
ed confinement.  Before  he  returned  I  was  making  my  way  up 
the  river  under  the  protection  of  Rev.  Jason  Lee,  superintendent 
of  that  mission,  who  was  coming  up  as  far  as  their  mission  at 
the  Dalls.  It  was  at  this  place  we  met  after  a  separation  of 
little  more  than  a  year,  rejoicing  in  the  mercy  of  God  to  us  both 
in  sparing  our  lives  and  permitting  us  to  see  each  other  again. 
We  came  home  immediately  and  re-organized  our  family  which 
had  increased    considerably.     My    health,  which  before  had   been 


178  TWENTIETH   ANNUAL   REUNION 

very  feeble,  was  most  precarious  for  three  months  after  my  re- 
turn. At  one  time  I  was  brought  very  near  the  gates  of  death.  I 
am  at  present  by  no  means  perfectly  well,  but  am  more  comfort- 
able than  I  then  feared  I  ever  should  be.  I  desire  to  spend  the 
remnant  of  my  day  to  the  glory  of  God,  and  to  be  in  constant 
readiness  for  my  departure,  for  I  feel  that  it  is  not  far  distant. 
Truly  you  and  your  dear  husband  have  been  deeply  afflicted 
in  the  death  of  so  many  members  of  your  beloved  families.  I 
feel  to  sympathize  with  you  and  your  truly  bereaved  and  aged 
father.  Please  present  my  love  and  kindest  remembrances  to  him. 
I  could  not  keep  from  weeping  in  hearing  my  husband's  interest- 
ing description  of  him.  Surely,  what  has  he  to  bind  him  to 
earth  when  the  most  of  his  beloved  family  is  in  heaven.  I  love 
to  think  of  them  there  as  my  own  dear  friends,  for  I  hope  soon  to 
be  with  them. 

Husband  has  been  writing  to  Father  Hotchkiss  concerning 
this  country,  what  I  hope  your  dear  husband  will  see,  and  with 
other  friends  be  prevailed  upon  to  come  to  this  country  and 
adopt  it  as  your  own.  Be  assured  nothing  would  give  us  greater 
pleasure  than  to  see  some  of  our  Prattsburg  friends  here  in  Ore- 
gon. 

I  sincerely  hope  you  will  write  me  often,  for  I  am  anxious  to 
hear  more  particulars  concerning  Mrs.  Iceland's  death  and  her 
surviving  family.  You  know  not  how  much  I  enjoyed  the  read- 
ing of  the  Pastor's  Wife  which  Mr.  Malin  kindly  sent  me.  I  had 
written  her,  as  also  Mrs.  O.  L.  Porter,  but  have  received  no  an- 
swers. 

Please  remember  me  affectionately  to  each  member  of  your 
family,  your  Brother  V.  and  P.'s  family,  and  all  Christian  friends 
who  may  inquire.  Forget  not  to  write  concerning  your  own  dear 
children  and  your  maternal  association,  for  I  desire  much  to 
know  of  its  prosperity;  also  of  the  cause  of  Christ  generally. 

Yours  sincerely  and  affectionately, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Mrs.  Lydia  C.  Porter, 

Prattsburg, 

Steuben  County,  N.  Y. 
Favour  of  W.  Gilpin. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 79 


Waiii,atpu,  Oregon  Territory,  ) 
May  20th  1844.      J 

My  Dear  Clarissa:  —  I  am  glarl  you  have  begun  to  write 
rue.  I  hope  it  will  not  be  the  last  one  I  shall  receive  from  you. 
You  cannot  do  me  so  much  good  in  any  way,  except  by  praying 
for  me,  as  in  writing  me  all  about  yourselves  and  beloved  children. 
I  want  to  see  how  you  look  and  how  you  live.  I  try  to  be  faith- 
ful on  my  part,  although  I  have  not  so  much  time  as  you,  and 
many  more  correspondents.  My  husband's  visit  was  very  short, 
too  much  so  to  gain  all  the  information  I  was  in  hopes  he  would 
bring  me.  Yet  I  am  glad  he  has  seen  you,  although  I  have  not 
had  the  privilege.  It  would  give  me  great  eujoyment  to  visit  you 
once  more,  but  I  cannot  expect  it;  I  am  a  missionary,  and  there- 
fore cannot  seek  after  comfort  merely,  but  must  be  content  to 
stay  where  I  am  and  do  the  Lord's  work.  Believe  me,  dear  sister, 
I  am  most  perfectly  so.  I  would  not  be  otherwise  situated  so  long 
as  the  Lord  wants  me  here. 

You  and  sister  Harriet  seem  anxious  to  make  me  laugh.  Per- 
haps if  you  could  see  me  you  would  not  desire  to.  I  feel  but  little 
disposition  to,  I  can  assure  you,  for  I  have  more  around  me  and 
within,  to  make  me  cry  than  to  make  me  laugh.  In  the  first 
place,  my  health  is  poor,  and  I  feel  as  if  I  was  not  very  far  from 
Eternity.  My  family  cares  are  numerous.  I  feel  sometimes  as  if 
I  had  almost  as  many  children  as  mother,  although  they  are  not 
my  own.  Yet  I  have  the  same  care  of  them  as  if  I  was  their  own 
mother;  and  the  native  children  are  more  difficult  to  manage  than 
our  own.  Besides  these,  I  have  a  sluggish  heart  within  that  requires 
constant  watching.  I  desire  to  be  cheerful,  because  that  is  a  duty; 
but  I  find  it  hard  work  always  to  be  so,  especially  when  husband 
was  gone.  But  the  Lord  supported  me,  else  I  could  not  have  been 
at  all. 

For  two  weeks  past  Mrs.  McKinlay  has  been  here.  She  came  to 
stay  during  her  confinement,  as  there  are  no  females  at  the  Fort. 
She  boards  with  Sister  Littlejohn,  who  lives  in  the  east  wing  of 
our  house  over  the  cellar.  This  morn  we  were  called  about  four 
o'clock  and  in  a  short  time  she  was  delivered  of  a  fine  son.     This 


l8o  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

is  her  second  child  born  in  this  house.     She  had  a  daughter  born 
two  years  ago  now  that  died  last  fall  with  the  croup. 

Dear  C,  do  you  think  we  shall  ever  see  you  in  Oregon?  Hus- 
band has  been  writing  to  father  and  others,  to  hold  out  induce- 
ments for  our  friends  to  come  into  this  country. 

The  Indians  are  roused  a  good  deal  at  seeing  so  many  emi- 
grants, but  they  are  foolish  enough  to  wish  to  sell  their  lands. 

Husband  tells  me  that  you  and  mother  are  in  the  same  house 
ogether  and  that  Harriet  is  close  by.  I  think  you  must  be  happy 
n  so  many  of  you  being  so  near  together  and  having  father  and 
mother  with  you. 

I  wish  they  would  come  and  live  with  me.  True,  they  are 
considerably  advanced,  and  you  think  too  old  to  cross  the  Rocky 
mountains.  We  wintered  an  old  couple  last  winter  that  had  fol- 
lowed their  children  to  this  country,  for  the  sake  of  benefiting 
them  in  the  things  of  this  world.  They  were  considerable  older 
than  father  and  mother.  They  came  in  wagons  all  the  way,  and 
was  sick,  particularly  the  woman,  most  all  the  way.  But  the  past 
winter  she  has  fleshed  and  regained  her  health,  better  than  it 
had  been  for  years,  notwithstanding  our  living  was  very  plain — 
good  beef,  potatoes  and  cornmeal — no  milk  nor  butter  through 
the  winter.  We  find  it  very  good  to  dispense  with  horse  beef  and 
have  plenty  of  cow  beef  in  its  place. 

I  do  not  know  as  I  should  be  more  surprised  to  see  them  than 
to  see  many  that  I  have  seen.  True,  it  would  be  very  fatiguing 
and  distressing  to  both  mind  and  body,  for  them  both.  I  cannot 
say  that  I  desire  they  should  endure  so  much  fatigue  and  suffer- 
ing in  their  old  age  as  they  would  necessarily  to  come  and  see 
me,  unless  there  was  a  more  ennobling  object;  but  for  a  young 
couple  just  beginning  in  life,  perhaps  there  is  not  a  place  where 
they  would  do  better.  Please  tell  Harriet  that  I  shall  not  be  able 
to  answer  her  letter  at  this  mail,  as  I  have  my  Rushville  friends 
to  answer  yet.  Soon  we  hope  to  have  a  monthly  mail  to  pass 
back  and  forth  from  here  to  the  States,  then  I  hope  to  receive 
letters  often. 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  181 

Remember  me  affectionately   to  your  husband    and    all    the 
friends  there. 

Ever  your  affectionate  sister, 

N.  Whitman. 
Mrs.  Clarissa  P.  Kinny, 

Cuba,  Allegheny  Co., 

New  York. 
Favour  of  W.  Gilpin. 


WaiixaTptj,  Aug.  5th,  1844. 

My  Dear  Mrs.  Brewer: — Tilaukikt  is  about  starting  for  the 
Willamette,  and  I  take  the  opportunity  of  replying  to  yours  of 
June  10th,  which  was  thankfully  received.  We  know  well  how  to 
sympathize  with  you  in  having  such  boys  as  Eli  and  Thomas 
about  you,  and  for  the  trouble  of  those  families  in  passing.  We 
are  all  of  us,  I  suppose,  on  the  eve  of  another  such  scene  as  last 
fall — the  passing  of  emigrants — and  as  it  falls  the  heavier  upon 
my  friends  at  the  Dalls,  I  hope  they  have  laid  in  a  good  stock  of 
strength,  patience  and  every  needed  grace  for  the  siege.  We  have 
had  no  news  from  that  quarter  as  yet,  but  cannot  think  it  will 
be  long  before  we  shall  hear. 

We  hear  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gary  are  visiting  you.  Last  week  we 
sent  an  invitation  to  Mr.  G.  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  Perkins,  to  have 
him  visit  us  accompanied  by  Brother  P.  and  any  other  member 
of  your  mission  who  could  conveniently  come,  and  we  have  been 
looking  for  and  anxiously  desire  to  see  them.  Perhaps  our  letter 
may  not  have  been  received.  By  the  by,  we  never  heard  in  all  of 
our  correspondence  from  the  lower  country,  that  there  was  a  Mrs. 
Gary  until  our  letters  and  papers  from  the  Islands  arrived.  If 
she  is  still  with  you,  please  do  me  the  favour  to  present  her  our 
Christian  salutations  and  a  hearty  welcome  to  Oregon,  our 
adopted  home. 

We  should  be  happy  to  have  her  visit  us  at  the  present   time, 
if  convenient.     I  can     imagine  myself  with    you,  particularly    in 


1 82  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

your  enjoyments,  both  social  and  spiritual,  and  if  it  would  be 
right,  could  envy  you.  Is  Brother  and  Sister  Waller  there?  We 
have  heard  that  they  were  coming  to  the  Dalls,  but  not  that  they 
were  come.  Do  write  us  when  you  can.  It  does  us  good  to 
know  that  you  all  are  enjoying  such  privileges,  if  we  must  be 
deprived  of  them.  I  think  my  husband  would  have  made  you  a 
visit  if  he  could  have  known  that  it  was  not  convenient  for  any 
of  your  number  to  come  to  Waiilatpu. 

I  wrote  Sister  Perkins  last  week.  The  Indian  leaves  this 
morning,  and  as  I  write  in  haste,  you  will  please  excuse  the  brev- 
ity of  this  note.  I  should  like  to  hear  the  result  of  the  late  camp 
meeting. 

Love  to  you  all,  in  which  the  doctor  unites. 

Sincerely  and  affectionately  yours, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 


Waiilatpu,  Feb.  20th,  1845. 

My  Dear  Mrs.  Brewer: — I  do  not  recollect  that  I  am  indebted 
to  you,  but  having  a  favourable  opportunity  of  sending,  and  feel- 
ing desirous  of  a  social  chat  with  you,  I  have  seated  myself  to 
write,  although  my  baby  is  whining  and  the  children  are  busy 
about  me  like  so  many  bees. 

I  am  anticipating  very  much  enjoyment  from  your  contem- 
plated visit  to  us  this  season.  I  hope  you  will  not  disappoint  us. 
Please  let  me  know  about  the  time  when  you  will  probably  come. 

[  have  had  a  very  happy  winter  in  labouring  for  my  family 
of  orphans,  and  other  reasons.  The  Lord  so  mercifully  provided 
me  with  a  fellow  labourer  that  I  feel  I  never  can  be  sufficiently 
thankful.  I  think  I  mentioned  when  I  wrote  last  that  we  had 
an  excellent  school,  and  that  our  children  were  improving  rapid- 
ly; and  perhaps  I  spoke,  too,  of  the  conversion  of  the  teacher  to 
God.     A  kind    Providence  brought  him  to  our    door,  and  he    had 


OREGON    PIONEER   ASSOCIATION  183 

not  been  here  many  days  before,  like  the  prodigal  in  a  far  coun- 
try, he  came  to  himself,  and  remembering  the  many  prayers  and 
admonitions  of  parental  love,  his  former  convictions  and  striv- 
ings of  the  Spirit,  together  with  the  long  suffering  patience  and 
loving  kindness  of  his  Heavenly  Father,  he  resolved  to  return, 
and  in  deep  contrition,  consecrated  himself  to  his  divine  Master. 
Now  he  contemplates  studying  for  the  ministry,  and  with  this 
view  remains  with  us  for  a  season  and  will  teach  school,  or,  at 
least,  give  one  lesson  a  day  through  the  summer,  and  next  winter 
keep  a  regular  one. 

Since  his  conversion,  Mr.  Hinman  has  laboured  indefatigably 
in  Sabbath-school  and  otherwise  for  the  benefit  of  the  youths 
and  children  that  have  been  with  us  the  winter  past,  and  much 
good  seed  has  been  sown  which  we  doubt  not  will  be  felt  here- 
after. 

I  write  in  so  much  confusion,  that  I  shall  be  obliged  to  stop 
before  I  have  said  what  I  wish  to. 

Husband  is  so  much  engaged  in  fitting  out  and  settling  with 
the  immigrants  that  he  wishes  me  to  apologize  to  your  husband 
for  him.  He  would  write,  if  possible.  He  sends  some  corn  as 
Mr.  B.  requested.  He  has  none  that  has  been  particularly  saved 
for  seed;  but  will,  next  fall,  if  desired,  save  and  send  some  New 
York  corn,  which  we  find  to  be  very  suitable  for  the  country. 
Some  beets  and  acorn  squash  seeds  are  in  the  bag  with  the  corn. 
The  others  you  requested,  we  have  none. 

Please  give  m}^  love  to  Brother  and  Sister  Waller,  to  your 
husband  and  self  and  all  the  dear  children,  and  believe  me,  in 
haste, 


Yours  affectionately, 

N.  W. 


Mrs  L.  L.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 


1 84  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 


WaiilaTpu,  May  19th,  1845. 

My  Dear  Mrs.Breiver: — My  husband  and  our  dear  Brother  Hin- 
man  are  about  to  visit  you,  and  I  wish  very  much  I  could  enjoy  it 
with  them.  I  have  been  looking  for  a  visit  from  you  and  Brother 
Brewer,  and  regret  very  much  that  you  have  not  been  here  at  the 
time  you  mentioned,  for  both  Mr.  Walker's  and  Mr.  Eells'  fami- 
lies have  been  here.  Why  did  you  not  come?  I  am  afraid  now 
you  will  not  let  me  see  you  this  summer;  do  come  if  you  can  when 
the  doctor  returns.  How  I  should  like  to  converse  with  you  about 
your  and  our  trials,  hopes,  fears  and  prospects  in  the  missionary 
work.  I  cannot  write  much  now,  but  hope  you  will  enjoy  the 
company  of  those  who  go  from  here  and  be  of  mutual  benefit  to 
each  other.  We  were  permitted  while  the  mission  was  here  to 
receive  Brother  Hinman  into  our  church.  It  was  an  interesting 
time  not  soon  to  be  forgotten.  Please  give  my  love  to  Brother 
and  Sister  Waller,  your  dear  husband,  and  kiss  the  dear  children 
for  me.  Have  you  heard  from  Brother  Perkins  lately?  and  also, 
Mr.  J.  Lee,  is  he  coming  back? 

Yours  in  love, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Mrs.  L.  L.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 

Favour  of  Mr.  Hinman. 


WaiilaTpu,  August  9th,  1845. 
My  Dear  Sister: — Your  sympathizing  letter  came  in  just  the 
time  to  do  me  much  good.  I  thank  you  for  it,  and  for  the  infor- 
mation it  contained  concerning  Francisco,  and  the  feelings  of 
the  party  with  whom  he  traveled,  about  the  orphan  children 
with  us.  I  read  your  letter  to  John;  he  seemed  quite  hurt  about 
Mr.  P.'s  charge,  and  said  that  he  (Mr.  P.I  asked  him  several  times 
if  he    did  not  wish    to  go  to    the  Willamette.     I  saw    nothing  to 


OREGON   ASSOCIATION    PIONEER  1 85 

make  me  think  that  John  wished  to  have  his  brother  go;  but,  on 
the  contrary,  he  and  all  the  sisters  tried  to  keep  him  and  ap- 
peared to  feel  very  bad  about  his  going.  If  it  were  otherwise, 
his  actions  deceive  me  very  much. 

You  are  right  in  saying  that  I  "feel  indifferent  to  what  is 
said  about  me,  so  far  as  I  am  concerned  individually."  I  endeav- 
our in  all  things  to  act  towards  the  children  as  if  they  were  my 
own.  My  sincere,  ardent  and  abiding  wish  is  to  train  them  up 
for  God  and  eternity,  and  not  for  their  transient  existence  in 
this  life.  I  try  to  study  my  duty  towards  them  in  every  respect, 
both  carefully  and  prayerfully.  We  felt  it  our  duty  to  have  them 
baptized,  as  many  as  were  willing  to  be,  and  accordingly  we  did 
so,  the  girls  only  consenting.  I  felt  it  a  great  privilege  to  do  so 
still,  and  am  greatly  strengthened  in    spirit  to  labour  for  them. 

I  do  not  think  them  difficult  children  to  manage,  neither  do 
I  have  occasion  often  to  use  the  rod.  The  little  one,  as  all  other 
little  children  do,  manifested  a  stubborn  disposition  at  first, 
which  required  subduing;  since  she  has  appeared  well — obeys 
promptly  when  spoken  to.  I  have  no  reason  to  regret  the  course 
I  have  pursued  with  her,  when  I  consider  the  effects  upon  her  dis- 
position, naturally  very  obstinate,  as  well  as  all  the  others.  Doubt- 
less this  is  what  has  occasioned  the  remarks,  for  it  took  place 
about  the  time  Francisco  went  away.  Louise,  the  next  older,  I 
have  not  been  able  to  subdue  so  completely;  but  she  is  much 
better  than  when  she  first  came.  They  were  said  to  be  very  bad 
children  when  they  were  left;  but  there  was  a  reason  for  that. 
Left  without  restraint  in  such  a  journey,  it  could  not  be  expected 
otherwise.  Putting  them  all  in  school  immediately  under  such 
a  good  and  faithful  disciplinarian  as  Mr.  Hinman,  I  was  entirely 
relieved  of  the  difficult  and  hard  task  of  breaking  them  in  to 
habits  of  obedience  and  order.  I  feel  that  I  never  can  be  too 
thankful  for  the  mercies  of  the  Lord  in  placing  such  a  good 
young  man  in  our  family  to  do  this  work  for  us  when  my  health 
was  so  inadequate  to  the  work,  and  the  doctor  so  entirely  taken 
up  with  other  duties  with  emigrants  and  Indians.  He  has  also, 
accomplished  the  tedious  task  of   starting  them  all  in  a,  b,  c,  and 


1 86  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

ba,  be,  etc.  They  are  so  well  advanced  and  have  been  trained  to 
such  good  habits  of  study,  that  my  labour  is  comparatively  easy, 
and  I  am  now  taking  new  delight  every  day  in  teaching.  All 
except  Louise  read  and  spell  well.  She  is  in  words  of  three  letters. 
Some,  or  all  of  the  older  ones,  are  showing  considerable  mind  and 
rather  seriously  inclined.  Our  Sabbath-school  is  always  an  inter- 
esting season  with  us — increasingly  so.  I  am  desirous  to  see  them 
Christians.  What  I  do  I  feel  that  I  ought  to  do  immediately; 
and  will  you  pray  for  me,  my  dear  sister,  that  our  instructions 
may  not  be  lost  upon  them?  I  could  write  much  more  upon  this 
subject,  but  have  not  time.  I  wish  I  could  see  you,  then  we  could 
open  our  hearts  freely  to  each  other.  Do  come  if  you  can  and 
see  us. 

I  do  feel,  as  I  have  every  reason  to  believe  you  do,  that  the 
receipt  of  our  Mother's  Magazine  is  an  unspeakable  favour.  Situ- 
ated as  we  are,  away  from  other  help,  what  a  blessing  to  possess 
such  a  pleasing  auxiliary  in  our  labours  as  mothers.  I  hope  and 
pray  that  its  introduction  into  this  county  will  be  the  means  of 
much  good.  Husband  sent  the  one  that  came  to  Mrs.  Perkins  to 
Mrs.  Willson.  Perhaps  Mrs.  Waller  would  have  preferred  to  have 
had  it  continued  to  her  in  the  room  of  Mrs.  Perkins.  I  do  not 
know  as  Mrs.  Willson  wishes  to  become  responsible  for  it;  if  not, 
and  Mrs.  W.  would,  it  can  be  sent  to  her.  Other  numbers  can  be 
ordered  if  desired. 

I  received  from  the  editor  receipts  for  each  subscriber.  Yours 
I  will  enclose  and  forward  at  this  time.  If  husband  had  opened 
my  package,  he  would  have  been  able  to  have  distributed  them 
to  all.  Y'ou  will  see  that  it  is  given  for  a  little  more  than  the 
doctor  settled  for,  the  bound  volume  being  twenty-hve  cents  more 
than  the  unbound  ones.  Mrs.  McKinlay  has  all  the  back  bound 
volumes  sent  to  her  order. 

But  I  must  close.  If  you  can  read  this  poorly  written  letter, 
I  shall  be  glad.  It  would  be  no  more  than  justice  to  your  good 
sense  to  copy  it,  but  inability  from  poor  health  and  numerous 
cares,  pleads  to  be  excused.  Please  give  my  love  to  Brother  and 
Sister  Waller  and  your  husband  in  which  husband  unites.  Please 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 87 

accept  of  our  united  thanks  for  your  kindness  to  him  in  passing. 
He  enjoyed  his  visit  with  you  and  in  the    Willamette  very  much. 

Affectionately  yours, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 

P.  S. — John  sends  an  invitation  to  his  brother,  and  a  horse  to 
have  him  come  back.  I  hope  it  will  have  the  effect  to  prevail  on 
him  to  do  so.  I  feel  much  for  him  and  wish  him  to  return,  as  all 
of  us  do,  and  pray  the  Lord  to  restore  the  wanderer  to  our  arms 
again. 


Waiilatpu,  Nov.  28th,  1845. 
My  Dear  Mrs.  Brewer: — I  seize  a  moment  this  morning  to 
write  you,  although  it  is  in  the  midst  of  bustle  and  Indian  excite- 
ment. Mr.  Rinearson  will  hand  you  this.  He  has  been  engaged 
by  us  in  teaching  an  Indian  school.  He  is  a  very  agreeable  and 
good  young  man  in  every  respect,  except  he  lacks  the  one  thing 
needful.  He  will  be  our  living  epistle  to  you  concerning  the  state 
of  things  with  us.  It  may  be  that  we  shall  be  obliged  to  leave 
here  in  the  spring.  The  state  of  things  looks  now  very  much  as 
though  we  should  be  required  to. 

We  have  long  been  anxious  to  hear  from  you.  From  Indian 
reports,  we  fear  that  you  have  been  through  a  season  of  trial  and 
distress  the  season  past  before  unknown.  If  so,  I  hope  the  strength 
and  grace  of  God  has  been  your  support  and  consolation  through 
all  your  afflictions. 

I  feel  greatly  worn  out,  both  physically  and  mentally,  so  that 
I  scarcely  feel  strength  enough  of  mind  left  to  dictate  any  thing 
that  will  be  worth  reading.  But  I  felt  that  I  could  not  let  this 
opportunity  pass  without  just  saying  to  you  that  we  often  think 
and  speak  of  you  both,  and  Brother  and  Sister  Waller,  too;  love 
and  sympathize  with  you  as  fellow  sharers  in  the  same  labour  , 
trials,  faith  and  patience,  in  the  work  of  our  Divine  Master. 


1 88  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

For  the  poor  Indians'  sake  and  the  relief  of  future  travelers 
to  this  country,  I  could  wish  to  stay  here  longer  if  we  could  do  it 
in  peace.  We  fear,  sometimes,  as  if  our  quietness  was  past  for 
this  country,  at  least  for  a  season.  It  may  be  that  you  are  suffer- 
ing under  the  same  commotions  that  affect  us,  and  perhaps  more 
so.  If  so,  you  will  understand  me.  Mr.  Rinearson  has  a  full  view 
of  the  subjects  agitated,  takes  a  deep  interest  in  our  situation  and 
prospects,  as  well  as  the  interest  of  the  Indians  and  country. 

I  received  your  letter  by  Mr.  Spalding  and  was  much  refreshed 
by  it,  and  I  believe  I  have  not  written  you  since. 

Please  give  my  love  to  Brother  and   Sister  Waller,  and  accept 

for    yourself  and    husband   our   assurances  of    continued    esteem 

and  affection. 

Your  sister  in  Christ, 


N.  Whitman. 


Mrs.  L/.  Li.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 
Favour  of  Mr.  Rinearson. 


Waiilatpu,  April  2d,  1846. 

My  Dear  Edward: — You  can  imagine  better  than  I  can  de- 
scribe how  glad  I  was  to  receive  your  token  of  remembrance,  to- 
gether with  the  letters  from  yourself  and  Jane  last  September,  as 
two  of  the  emigrants  called  on  us  to  deliver  them.  Your  letters, 
Edward,  were  just  the  thing  for  me.  I  like  such  kind  of  letters 
as  show  me  the  spirit  and  make  of  the  writer.  I  cannot  see  how 
it  should  be  so  difficult  for  you  or  the  girls  to  write  me,  and 
should  think  you  might  write  me  five  or  six  times  a  year  instead 
of  once  in  two  or  more  years.  I  really  believe  if  you  were  situated 
as  I  am  you  never  would  write  at  all.  Think  of  me  now  while  I 
am  attempting  to  write — half  a  dozen  children  making  a  noise 
around  me,  and  to  put  on  the  climax,  the  doctor  must  come  in, 
and  taking  a  paper  sit  down  and  read  aloud  or  talk  to  Mr.  Rogers, 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 89 

who  is  sitting  in  the  room;  then  in  comes  an  Indian  woman  or 
two  to  sell  some  dry  berries,  and  I  must  stop  to  attend  to  them, 
until  I  am  quite  lost  and  scarcely  know  what  I  am  thinking 
about,  especially  when  I  have  nearly  twenty  letters  to  write,  and 
but  little  time  to  accomplish  it  in;   but  enough  of  this. 

I  have  just  asked  the  doctor  what  I  should  say  to  you  about 
your  coming  to  Oregon.  He  says  there  is  no  want  of  inducement 
for  you  to  come,  and  he  intends  to  write  you  some  of  them  at. 
least;  but  the  only  qualification  you  need,  he  says,  is  a  wife,  and 
then  yon  must  bring  Jane.  I  do  not  know  what  you  will  say  to 
that.  If  there  were  any  here  to  be  had,  I  should  prefer  to  have 
you  come  without;  but  as  there  is  none,  and  to  make  the  trip 
twice  to  get  one  would  be  dubious;  for  this  reason,  if  you  could 
find  a  good  one,  by  all  means  get  her  and  come  on,  and  bring 
Jane  with  you.  You  cannot  tell  how  anxious  I  am  to  see  you.  I 
have  been  looking  for  you  more  or  less  for  several  years  past. 
You  know  not  how  disappointed  I  was  that  the  doctor  did  not 
bring  Jane  with  him.  He  wants  to  have  her  here  as  much  as  I 
do;  but  the  reason  he  did  not  bring  her  was — (you  will  laugh 
when  I  tell  you) — the  Indians  would  say  that  he  had  got  tired  of 
me  and  taken  another  wife,  as  they  do,  or  was  wishing  to  have 
two  wives.  Don't  be  frightened  at  this,  Jane,  and  stay  away,  but 
by  all  means  come,  both  of  you.  We  have  work  enough  for  all 
of  you  to  do,  and  want  your  help  very  much.  It  is  a  pleasant, 
health}-  country  to  live  in.  When  once  here  you  will  not  wish 
to  go  away  again.  It  is  a  bad  job  to  get  here,  but  make  the  best 
of  that  you  can  and  come.  I  do  wish  Mr.  Pope  and  his  lady 
would  come.  Good  men  are  needed  here  and  he  would  do  well 
for  himself.  Jane  might  have  come  with  husband  if  he  had 
known  in  season  of  some  good  family  for  her  to  come  in,  but  it 
will  be  pleasanter  for  her  to  come   with  her  brother. 

The  journey  is  a  trying  one  to  the  faith  and  hopes  of  Chris- 
tians. Slvuild  you  come  I  hope  you  will  look  well  to  the  exercises 
of  your  own  heart  and  never  neglect  to  watch  and  pray.  Hold 
sweet  communion  with  God  every  day.  Make  it  a  point  not  to 
neglect  this  duty    and   you  will  be    assisted  to  make  the  journey 


I90  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    EEUNION 

without    having    to    experience    the    bitter  reflection    after    your 
arrival   of  dishonouring  God  and  your  profession  by  the  way. 

Dear  brother,  this  is  the  most  important  subject  to  be  looked 
at  in  making  a  journey  to  this  country.  "See  that  ye  fall  not 
out  by  the  way,"  was  Joseph's  advice  to  his  brethren.  And  it 
would  be  well  if  it  were  written  on  every  Christian's  wagon,  or  to 
say  the  least,  his  heart,  to  be  called  to  mind  every  day  or  every 
hour  of  the  day  as  need  be.  You  will  be  tried  in  every  point  and 
in  many  ways  you  never  were  before.  You  may  be  persecuted 
and  reviled,  "but  if  you  suffer  for  Christ's  sake,  happy  are  ye;" 
but  if  for  your  own  faults,  then  it  will  be  trying.  Much  of  this 
will  be  avoided  if  you  have  a  select  few  who  are  devoted  Chris- 
tians, united  in  all  points  for  each  others,  interest,  especially  in 
keeping  the  Sabbath  and  social  worship,  etc.  If  you  come  together 
and  keep  together  all  the  way,  it  may  be  made  very  agreeable. 
This,  perhaps,  may  be  difficult  to  find  a  party  sufficiently  large 
to  be  safe.  There  are  several  gentlemen  going  back  this  spring 
that  left  their  families  last  year  and  intend  returning  next  year, 
I  believe.  I  hope  5'ou  will  have  an  opportunity  of  seeing  some  of 
them,  from  whom  you  may  learn  more  about  the  journey  than  I 
can  write.  I  am  not  concerned  but  that  you  will  get  here  well 
enough  if  you  start  with  any  suitable  arrangement;  but  I  am 
more  anxious  lest  you  should  not  at  all  times  bring  honour  upon 
Christ,  our  dear  Redeemer,  who  died  to  save  us.  The  excitement 
is  great  and  objects  of  faith  are  too  apt  to  be  lost  sight  of  in 
objects  of  sense,  and  our  duty  of  prayer  and  watchfulness  neglect- 
ed. When  you  have  experienced  what  I  have,  and  heard  and  seen 
what  I  have  in  others,  you  will  believe  me  if  you  do  not  feel  the 
importance  now. 

Hoping  the  Lord  will  bring  you  safely  here  and  that  we  shall 
be  permitted  to  see  each  other's  faces  in  the  flesh  and  enjoy  His 
unspeakable  favours  together  in  glorifying  Him  while  we  live. 

So  prays  your  devoted  sister, 

NARCISSA. 

P.  S. — There  were  many  very  useful  articles  in  the  box  you  sent 
me  for  all  of  which  I  thank  you.    I  was  in  hopes  of  finding  one  little 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  I9I 

article  more  that  is  needed  more  than  most  any  other  because  it 
cannot  be  obtained  here;  namely,  a  pi-la-ain,  as  the  Indians  call 
it  (louse  trap).  You  will  understand  me,  I  suppose — the  finest 
fine  combs  cannot  be  obtained  here,  for  that  reason  I  was  in  hopes 
of  finding  one  in  the  box.  I  know  you  would  have  sent  me  some 
if  you  had  kown  my  need.  At  any  rate,  I  was  very  proud  to  get 
what  I  did  from  you,  because  it  came  from  you,  dear   brother. 


WaiilaTpu,  April  2,  1846. 

My  Dear  Jane: — The  season  for  sending  letters  has  nearly  ar- 
rived, and  I  begin  to  feel  as  if  I  must  be  about  writing  to  some 
of  my  friends  or  they  will  complain  of  my  negligence  or  forget- 
fulness.  I  believe  I  have  written  very  few  letters  since  the  doc- 
tor returned.  My  health  has  been  so  poor,  and  my  family  has 
increased  so  rapidly,  that  it  has  been  impossible.  You  will  be 
astonished  to  know  that  we  have  eleven  children  in  our  family, 
and  not  one  of  them  our  own  by  birth,  but  so  it  is.  Seven  or- 
phans were  brought  to  our  door  in  Oct.,  1844,  whose  parents  both 
died  on  the  way  to  this  country.  Destitute  and  friendless,  there 
was  no  other  alternative — we  must  take  them  in  or  they  must 
perish.  The  3-oungest  was  an  infant  five  months  old — born  on 
the  way — nearly  famished  and  but  just  alive;  the  eldest  was  13- - 
two  boys  and  five  girls;  the  boys  were  the  oldest.  The  eldest 
daughter  was  lying  with  a  broken  leg  by  the  side  of  her  parents 
as  they  were  dying,  one  after  the  other.  They  were  an  afflicted 
and  distressed  family  in  the  journey,  and  when  the  children  ar- 
rived here  they  were  in  a  miserable  condition.  You  can  better 
imagine  than  I  can  describe  my  feelings  under  those  circum- 
stances. Weak  and  feeble  as  I  was,  in  an  Indian  country  without 
the  possibility  of  obtaining  help,  to  have  so  many  helpless  chil- 
dren cast  upon  our  arms  at  once,  rolled  a  burden  upon  me  insup- 
portable. Nothing  could  reconcile  me  to  it  but  the  thought  that 
it  was  the  Lord  that  brought  them  here,  and  He  would  give  me 
grace  and   strength   so  to  discharge  my  duty  to  them  as  to  be  ac- 


I92  OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

ceptable  in  His  sight.  The  Lord  at  the  same  time  sent  us  a  ver}' 
good  young  man,  originally  from  New  York,  whom  we  employed 
to  teach  an  English  school.  He  was  of  great  assistance  to  me  in 
bringing  the  children  into  good  habits  and  advancing  them  in 
reading,  as  well  as  in  the  government  of  them.  He  was  not  pious 
when  he  entered  the  family,  but  the  influence  of  being  once 
more  in  a  Christian  family,  called  to  his  mind  the  feeling  and 
many  prayers  and  tears  of  a  pious  mother  and  deceased  father  for 
him,  and  overwhelmed  him.  He  went  to  a  retired  spot  just  below 
the  house  on  the  river  side  and  wept  bitterly  and  poured  out  his  soul 
to  God  in  prayer  and  consecrated  himself  to  His  service.  He  imme- 
diately engaged  in  religious  duty  and  was  my  associate  in  instruct- 
ing and  labouring  with  the  children  in  Sabbath  school  and  other- 
wise. Several  families  wintered  here,  which  made  the  school  quite 
large.  At  the  annual  meeting  of  our  mission  he  united  with  the 
mission  church.  He  is  now  in  the  Willamette  teaching  in  the 
Oregon  Institute.     This  was  the  winter  of  1844  and  1845. 

I  received  no  letters  from  you  or  Edward  that  fall  and  thought 
it  surprising  that  in  all  that  great  company  you  could  not  have 
sent  us  a  single  letter.  I  think  I  wrote  you  in  the  spring  by  Over- 
ton's party;  hope  you  have  got  it  by  this  time.  It  seems  to  me 
the  immigration  might  bring  me  letters  from  my  friends  every 
year.  I  have  not  had  a  letter  from  mother  in  a  great  while,  and 
I  most  envy  you  your  privilege  and  wonder  why  you  did  not  send 
it  to  me,  so  that  I  might  have  the  reading  also;  the  last  from  fa- 
ther was  when  doctor  returned.  I  have  just  been  writing  to  Ed- 
ward how  much  we  wish  to  see  you  both  here  and  hope  you  will 
three  of  you  come;  there  is  work  enough  for  you  to  do.  We  could 
give  you  a  school  all  the  time — an  English  school — our  children 
and  the  children  of  the  other  families  of  the  mission  and  perhaps 
some    others;  also,  an  Indian  school  some  part  of  the  time. 

Dearest  Jane,  you  know  not  what  special  tokens  of  our  dear 
Redeemer's  love  and  mercy  we  have  been  receiving  the  last  three 
months.  Last  Saturday,  however,  was  a  day  of  all  days  never  to 
be  forgotten  by  me,  while  I  live.  And  can  you  think  what  it  was, 
beloved    sister?    It   was   this:    The    triumphant   death  of    a   dear 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  1 93 

brother  in  Christ.  I  wish  I  could  enter  into  particulars  and  lay 
out  the  whole  scene  before  you  so  that  you  could  see  and  feel  it  as 
I  do  and  those  who  were  witnesses  of  his  glorious  departure.  The 
individual  was  Joseph  L.  Finley  from  Illinois,  who  came  over 
with  the  last  immigration  for  his  health;  his  disease  was  consump- 
tion, and  deep-seated  when  he  left  the  States.  He  was  advised  to 
stop  here  for  the  winter  because  it  would  be  so  unfavourable  for 
invalids  in  the  lower  country  in  the  winter.  You  will  wonder  how 
I  could  have  the  care  of  him  in  my  feeble  state  of  health  and 
large  family.  He  kept  about  until  about  the  middle  of  January 
and  during  that  time  boarded  with  a  cousin  that  stopped  for  the 
winter;  when  he  became  confined  to  his  room,  I  opened  my  bed- 
room to  him,  as  there  was  no  other  on  the  premises  suitable  for 
a  sick  man,  and  a  cousin,  a  young  woman,  came  and  took  care  of 
him  until  the  families  left  for  the  Willamette,  the  first  of  March. 
Mr.  Rogers,  our  school  teacher,  had  the  principal  care  of  him,  as 
also  during  the  journey.  He  was  without  a  well-grounded  hope 
when  he  came  here,  and  the  Lord  was  pleased  to  bless  our  efforts 
for  his  salvation.  He  afterwards  desired  to  unite  with  our  church, 
and  accordingly  did  Feb.  26th,  in  company  with  Mr.  Rogers,  who 
had  formerly  been  a  member  of  the  Seceders.  Being  in  my  fam- 
ily, I  was  very  much  with  him  and  read  and  prayed  with  him  al- 
most daily  towards  the  close  of  his  life.  He  grew  in  grace  stead- 
ily and  felt  that  he  was  over-privileged  to  die  in  such  a  quiet 
place,  where  he  could  have  the  society  of  those  who  cared  for  his 
soul.  Dear  sister — he  was  a  stranger,  moneyless  and  friendless,  in 
one  sense — no  relative  who  felt  the  responsibility  of  caring  for 
him.  He  was  just  such  a  one  as  the  Saviour  says,  "Inasmuch  as 
ye  have  done  it  unto  the  least  of  these,  my  brethren,  ye  have  done 
it  unto  me." 

Mr.  Finley  was  nearly  32  years  of  age — was  never  married. 

We  felt,  that  is  Brother  Rogers  and  myself,  that  we  were 
abundantly  rewarded  for  all  the  care  and  labour  we  had  bestowed 
upon  him.  It  was  such  a  glorious  sight,  especially  to  Brother 
Spalding  and  Brother  Rogers,  who  had  never  seen  the  like 
before.     Husband   and   myself  saw  much    the  same  in   Mrs.    Sat- 


194  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

terlee,  at  Liberty,  when  we  were  coming  to  this  country.  Let  us 
praise  the  Lord,  dear  sister,  and  live  so  that  our  death  may  be 
as  triumphantly  glorious. 

Affectionately  your  sister, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Mr.  Edward  W.  Prentiss, 

Quincy, 

Illinois. 


Waiilatpu,  May  15th,  1846. 

Edward  and  Jane  Prentiss,  My  Dear  Brother  and  Sister: — It 
gave  us  much  pleasure  to  receive  your  letter  by  the  last  emigra- 
tion, but  it  would  have  given  us  more  to  have  seen  you  both  here. 
If  I  could  have  known  more  when  I  was  home  I  would  have  tried 
to  have  had  you  both  come  out  with  me.  It  is  now,  however, 
still  favourable  for  you  to  come.  Narcissa  wants  Jane  to  come 
and  I  want  Edward,  but  it  is  not  for  us  that  you  should  come  but 
for  yourselves  and  the  Lord.  Edward  would  do  well  to  have  a 
wife  and  then  come,  and  Jane  will  be  agreeable  with  or  without  a 
husband,  as  suits  her  best;  but  if  she  comes  without  one,  I  shall 
try  to  convince  her  of  her  duty  to  marry.  This  country  needs 
those  who  are  able  and  willing  to  found  and  support  society,  re- 
ligion, and  schools.  There  are  the  best  inducements  to  young 
men  to  come  and  locate  a  mile  square  of  first-rate  land  in  a 
better  climate  than  in  any  of  the  States,  with  the  broad  Pacific 
ocean  to  open  in  prospect  before  them.  A  good  title  will  be 
secured  to  all  who  locate  and  reside  on  or  occupy  land  or  mile 
squares,  according  to  the  Oregon  laws. 

You  must  see  how  fine  it  is  for  a  settler  not  only  not  to  have 
to  feed  his  stock  as  a  general  thing,  but  when  he  first  comes,  his 
poor  stock  can  winter  the  fir=>t  winter  without  the  need  of  provid- 
ing for  them.  We  want  a  school  teacher  every  winter,  and  shall 
like  to  employ  you  the  first  winter,  at  least,  until  you  can  look 
around.     We  had  a  good,  pious  teacher  last  winter  and  may   have 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  195 

him  the  next.  He  adds  instruction  in  musick.  I  believe  he  wrote 
Jane  on  the  spur  of  Mrs.  Whitman's  promising  to  write  his  mother 
in  case  he  would  write  one  of  her  friends.  He  is  studying  for  the 
ministry  with  one  of  the  ministers  of  our  mission,  Rev.  Elkanah 
Walker. 

It  cannot  be  much  for  you  to  come  the  rest  of  the  way  now 
you  are  so  near,  and  more  since  you  have  become  weaned  from 
favorite  spots  of  your  youth.  If  Father  and  Mother  Prentiss 
should  consent  to  come  with  you,  I  think  they  would  be  rejoiced 
in  their  old  age.  A  light  wagon  with  an  ox  team  is  the  best  for 
families,  as  all  must  keep  company  on  the  road.  Eet  provisions 
so  far  as  can  be,  be  the  only  loading.  Necessities  for  the  journey 
are  all  you  want,  unless  you  have  special  reasons  for  bringing 
something  in  particular.  The  intimations  in  your  letter  that  you 
might  come  if  we  would  write  you,  give  us  hope  to  look  for  you 
the  next  year.  In  the  meantime.get  Brother  Jackson  and  Kenny, 
etc.,  to  come  with  you,  as  also  Galusha  and  Father  and  Mother 
Prentiss. 

It  is  a  hurried  letter  I  have  to  give  you,  but  I  hope  it  will  be 
taken  as  a   token  of  our  love  to  you  both,  with  desire  to   see  you. 

With  our    united    love  to    you   both, 

I    am  your  affectionate  brother, 

Marcus  Whitman. 

Jane,  you  need  not  fear  what  rny  husband  says.  I  am  not 
anxious  you  should  without  you  find  a  good  husband  and  desire 
to.  But  come  and  see  us  at  any  rate.  Mr.  Rogers  has  written 
you  and  given  you  much  interesting  information  about  the  jour- 
ney, etc.  Don't  take  it  amiss  that  he  has  written  you — he  has 
"illy  helped  me  to  tell  a  part  of  my  story.  I  should  have  written 
to  his  mother  if  I  could,  but  I  have  had  to  write  such  a  long 
letter  to  Mr.  Finley's  father — the  young  man  that  died  here — 
that  I  could  not  get  the  time.  1  wish  you  could  see  it.  He  lives 
in  the  same  town  that  Mr.  Roger's  parents  do,  so  if  Edward  ever 
travels  there  he  can  inquire  for  it  if  you  please,  and  they  are 
willing  to  show  it.     E.  and  Jane,  where  are   you  now?     Have   ymi 


I96  OREGON   PIONEER   ASSOCIATION 

gone  back  to  see  mother  again?  I  wish  I  could  see  her,  too;  but 
you  will  not  thank  me  for  writing  so.  I  am  in  a  hurry  and  can- 
not do  otherwise;  so  this  or  none.  Goodbye;  come  and  see  us  as 
soon  as  you  can.     Love  to  all  inquiriug  friends. 

Your  sister, 

Narcissa. 
Mr.  Edward  W.  Prentiss, 

Quincy, 

Illinois. 
Care  of  Mr.  Pope. 


WaiilaTpu,  July  17th,  1S46. 

My  Dear  Mrs.  Brewer: — A  long  silence  has  prevailed  of  late 
between  us  as  to  letter  writing,  and  it  is  perhaps  my  fault  as  much 
as  any  one.  I  find  it  increasingly  difficult  for  me  to  command  a 
sufficient  relief  from  the  cares  of  so  numerous  a  family  of  chil- 
dren to  write  as  many  letters  as  I  desire  to.  Another  reason — I 
have  been  looking  for  a  visit  from  you  all  summer  long,  and  do- 
not  yet  feel  willing  to  give  it  up.  We  have  heard  you  started 
once  and  came  part  way  and  was  obliged  to  return  on  account  of 
sickness.  1  regret  this  very  much,  for  had  you  come  at  that  time 
you  would  have  met  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Eells  here,  who  would  have 
rejoiced  very  much  to  see  you.  Will  you  not  make  another  effort 
when  Mr.  S.  returns  and  accompany  him.  I  should  be  so  delighted 
to  see  you  and  yours  once  more,  and  also  to  become  acquainted 
with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gary  of  whom  I  have. heard  much.  This  is  a 
dry  and  thirsty  land  for  Christian  communion  and  fellowship.  I 
do  long  for  the  society  of  some  Christian  sisters. 

We  have  had  a  quiet  time  for  a  few  weeks  past,  and  a  precious 
season  of  rest  it  has  been  to  us.  We  seem  to  be  renewing  strength 
for  the  season  of  burthen  and  trial  that  generally  falls  upon  us 
the  other  portions  of  the  year.  I  have  been  trying  to  read  a  little, 
for  I  find  my  mind  suffers  without  more  food  than  I  am  able  to 
give  it   at  some  seasons,  especially   when   we  are   thronged  with 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  I97 

company,  and   many   and   complicated   duties  are  pressing  upon 
our  hands. 

But  seasons  of  rest  and  quiet  are  of  but  short  duration  both 
for  you  as  well  as  us.  The  Indians  tell  us  that  more  Americans 
are  coming,  so  that  we  shall  soon  be  thronged  again.  We  are 
looking  with  some  interest  for  an  associate  to  be  among  them, 
and  hope  we  shall  not  be  disappointed. 

The  Indians  are  very  quiet  now  and  never  more  friendly. 
There  has  been  some  deaths  among  them  of  the  most  important 
Indians,  the  past  winter  and  spring,  and  we  are  not  without  hope 
that  some  of  them  have  gone  to  be  with  the  Saviour.  So  far  as 
the  Indians  are  concerned  our  prospects  of  permanently  remain- 
ing among  them  were  never  more  favourable  then  the  present.  I 
feel  distressed  sometimes  to  think  I  am  making  so  little  personal 
effort  for  their  benefit,  when  so  much  ought  to  be  done,  but  per- 
haps I  could  not  do  more  than  I  am  through  the  family.  It  is 
a  great  pleasure  to  them  to  see  so  many  children  growing  up  in 
their  midst.  Perrin,  the  eldest,  is  able  to  read  Nez  Perces  to  them 
and  when  husband  is  gone,  takes  his  place  and  holds  meetings 
with  them.  This  delights  them  very  much.  I  have  much  to  write 
you,  but  I  am  still  waiting,  hoping  to  see  you.  But  I  will  give 
you  a  specimen  of  my  eligible  situation  for  writing.  I  have  six 
girls  sewing  around  me,  or  rather  five — for  one  is  reading,  and  the 
same  time  my  baby  is  asking  to  go  and  bathe — she  is  two  years 
the  last  of  May,  and  her  uneasiness  and  talk  does  not  help  me  to 
many  very  profitable  ideas.  Now  another  comes  with  her  work 
for  me  to  fix.  So  it  is  from  morning  until  evening;  I  must  be 
with  them  or  else  they  will  be  doing  something  they  should  not, 
or  else  not  spending  their  time  profitably.  I  could  get  along 
some  easier  if  I  could  bring  my  mind  to  have  them  spend  their 
time  in  play,  but  this  I  cannot.  Now  all  the  girls  have  gone  to 
bathe  and  this  will  give  me  time  for  a  few  moments  to  close  my 
letter  in  peace;  they  are  very  good  girls  and  soon  will  be  more  help 
to  me  than  they  are  now,  although  at  present  they  do  consider- 
able work.     Please   give  my  love  to  all   your   missionary   friends 

and  believe  me,  as  ever, 

Sincerely  yours, 

N.  Whitman. 


198  TWENTY-FIRST'1  ANNUAL   REUNION 

Waiii,ATPU,  Oct.  19th,  1846. 

Dear  Sister: — I  have  been  trying  to  write  you  some  time,  but 
find  it  difficult  on  account  of  bustle  and  necessary  care,  and  even 
now  it  is  not  much  better.  By  Mr.  Littlejohn  we  wrote  you  and 
Brother  Waller,  inviting  you  to  send  your  children  to  school;  as 
you  said  nothing  about  it  in  your  last,  we  think  perhaps  you  did 
not  receive  the  letter.  Be  that  as  it  may,  we  would  be  glad  to 
have  you  send  your  child  if  you  think  she  is  not  too  young,  and 
particularly  Brother  and  Sister  Waller,  as  they  have  expressed  a 
wish  to  Brother  Spalding  when  he  was  there.  We  have  an  excel- 
lent school,  taught  by  Mr.  Geiger,  and  when  he  leaves,  Mr.  Rogers 
will  continue.  We  have  been  looking  for  Brother  Waller  to  bring 
his  children  for  some  time,  and  hope  he  will  yet  do  it. 

I  have  much  to  say  to  you  and  would  be  glad  to  write  much 
longer,  but  you  must  excuse  me  for  the  present  as  I  have  been 
washing  today  and  am  now  coloring  madder.  I  send  this  by 
some  young  men  of  the  immigrants  who  are  to  leave  today,  and 
are  the  last,  among  whom  there  is  one  from  Massachusetts;  you 
will  find  him  intelligent  and  learn,  perhaps,  news  about  your 
home.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Congregational  church  and  re- 
turns next  spring  for  his  father's  family. 

Affectionately  yours, 

N.  W. 

Please  excuse  so  short  a  letter;  I  hope  to  do  better  soon.  Be- 
cause it  is  so  difficult  for  husband  and  self  to  write,  I  persuaded 
Mr.  R.  to  write  to  your  husband.      Adieu. 

Mrs.  L.  L.  Brewer, 

Wascopum. 
Favour  of  Mr.   Imbree. 


Waiilatpu,  Nov.  5th,  1846. 

Rev.  L.  P.  Judson,  My  Dear  Brother: — I  have  a  last  moment 
to  spare  in  writing,  and  I  have  resolved  to  write  to  you,  inasmuch 
as  you  have  given  me  the  hint  by  the  note  you  appended  to  a  fam- 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  199 

ily  letter  from  Mrs.  Whitman's  friends.  I  am  going  to  write 
plainlv  to  you,  for  we  love  you  and  do  not  like  to  see  your 
influence  and  usefulness  abridged.  I  have  known  you  long  and 
well — better  perhaps  than  you  me.  I  esteem  you  for  your  warm 
affections  and  ardent  temperament,  but  although  these  are  ami- 
able qualities,  they  are  like  the  health  of  an  infant,  of  so  high 
and  excitable  a  nature  that  it  is  but  a  step  between  them  and 
derangement  or  disease.  Mental  disease  is  not  suspected  by  the 
person  who  is  the  subject  of  it.  But  do  not  be  surprised  at  what 
I  am  intimating.  There  are  but  few  who  are  possessed  of  perfectly 
balanced  minds.  I  have  felt  and  acted  with  you  on  points  to 
which  the  public  mind  was  not  awake,  nor  ready  for  action.  It  is 
well  to  be  awake  on  all  important  points  of  duty  and  truth,  but 
it  can  do  no  good  to  be  ultra  on  any  of  these  points.  Why  part 
friends  for  an  opinion  only,  and  that,  too,  when  nothing  is  to  be 
gained  for  truth  or  principle,  and  much  lost  of  confidence,  love, 
usefulness,  enjoyment  and  interest. 

Why  trouble  those  you  cannot  convince  with  any  peculiar- 
ityof  your  own  sentiment,  especially  if  it  is  likely  to  debar  you 
from  the  opportunity  of  usefulness  to  them.  By  one  part  of  your 
own  confession  let  me  confute  your  ultra  perfectionism ;  that  is, 
you  complain  of  not  being  perfect  and  pray  for  more  sanctifica- 
tion.  Now,  brother,  let  that  suffice  that  as  long  as  you  have  to 
pray  for  sanctification  you  are  not  perfect,  and  that  as  long  as  you 
live  y»u  will  pray  for  it  and  then  conclude  you  will  be  perfect 
when  "this  mortal  shall  put  on  immortality  and  this  corruption 
shall  have  put  on  incorruption,"  and  not  till  then;  and  then  let 
us  cry,  "Grace;  grace  unto  it."  Do  not  think  of  being  an  ultra 
perfectionist  until  you  could  bear  to  hear  a  man  say,  "I  have  al- 
ready attained  and  am  already  perfect,  and  to  use  only  thanks- 
giving to  God  for  his  having  attained  to  and  being  perfect,  in- 
stead of  praying  for  more  sanctification."  If  you  could  arrive  at 
the  point  where  you  felt  you  were  perfect,  of  course  you  would 
no  longer  pray  for  sanctification,  and  what  would  be  your  prayer 
after  that?  Let  the  thought  awe  you,  for  such  cannot  be  the 
prayer  of  mortal   in  the  flesh.     Prayer  becomes  us,  and    we  shall 


200  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    EEUNION 

not  be  fitted  in  this  life  to  join  in  the  song  of  praise  triumphant, 
of  Moses  and  the  Lamb.     And  now  for  Millerism. 

I  was  in  Boston  when  the  famous  time  came  for  the  end  of 
the  world,  but  I  did  not  conclude  that  as  the  time  was  so  short 
I  would  not  concern  myself  to  return  to  my  family.  But  I  did 
conclude  that  inasmuch  as  you  had  adopted  such  sentiments,  you 
were  not  prepared  for  any  work  calling  for  time  in  its  execution, 
and  thinking  the  work  of  time  so  short  with  you  that  it  would 
be  in  vain  to  call  forth  any  principle  to  your  mind  that  would 
involve  length  of  time  for  its  execution,  I  was  contented  to  pass 
you  in  silence.  For  to  my  mind  all  my  work  and  plans  involved 
time  and  distance,  and  required  confidence  in  the  stability  of  God's 
government  and  purpose  to  give  the  heathen  to  His  son  for  an 
inheritance,  and  among  them  those  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth 
for  His  possession. 

I  had  adopted  Oregon  as  my  country,  as  well  as  the  Indians 
for  my  field  of  labour,  so  that  I  must  superintend  the  immigration 
of  that  y^ar,  which  was  to  lay  the  foundation  for  the  speedy  set- 
tlement of  the  country  if  prosperously  conducted  and  safely 
carried  through;  but  if  it  failed  and  became  disastrous,  the  reflex 
influence  would  be  to  discourage  for  a  long  time  any  further  at- 
tempt to  settle  the  country  across  the  mountains,  which  would  be 
to  see  it  abandoned  altogether.  Now,  mark  the  difference  between 
the  sentiments  of  you  and  me.  Since  that  time  you  have  allowed 
yourself  to  be  laid  aside  from  the  ministry,  and  have  parted  with 
tried  friends  for  an  opinion  only,  and  that  opinion  has  done  you 
nor  no  one  else  any  good.  Within  the  same  time,  I  have  returned 
to  my  field  of  labour,  and  in  my  return  brought  a  large  immigra- 
tion of  about  one  thousand  individuals  safely  through  the  long 
and  the  last  part  of  it  an  untried  route  to  the  western  shores  of 
the  continent.  Now  that  they  were  once  safely  conducted  through, 
three  successive  immigrations  have  followed  after  them,  and  two 
routes  for  wagons  are  now  open  into  the  Willamette  valley. 

Mark,  had  I  been  of  your  mind  I  should  have  slept,  and 
now  the  Jesuit  Papists  would  have  been  in  quiet  possession  of 
this   the  only  spot  in  the  western  horizon   of  America  not   before 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  201 

their  own.  They  were  fast  fixing  themselves  here,  and  had  we 
missionaries  had  no  American  population  to  come  in  to  hold  on 
and  give  stability,  it  would  have  been  but  a  small  work  for  them 
and  the  friends  of  English  interests,  which  they  had  also  fully 
avowed,  to  have  routed  us,  and  then  the  country  might  have  slept 
in  their  hands  forever. 

Time  is  not  so  short  yet  but  it  is  quite  important  that  such 
a  country  as  Oregon  should  not  on  one  hand  fall  into  the  exclu- 
sive hands  of  the  Jesuits,  nor  on  the  other  under  the  English 
government.  In  all  the  business  of  this  world  we  require  time. 
And  now  let  us  redeem  it,  and  then  we  shall  be  ready,  and  our 
Lord  will  not  come  upon  us  unawares.  Come,  then,  to  Oregon, 
resume  your  former  motto,  which  seemed  to  be  onward  and  up- 
ward— that  is  in  principle,  action,  duty  and  attainments,  and  in 
holiness.  Dismiss  all  ultraism,  and  then  you  will  be  co-operative 
and  happy  in  the  society  of  acting  and  active  Christians.  I  say 
again,  come  to  Oregon;  but  do  not  bring  principles  of  discord 
with  you. 

This  is  a  country  requiring  devoted,  pious  labourers  in  the 
service  of  our  Lord.  There  are  many  and  great  advantages  offered 
to  those  who  come  at  once.  A  mile  square,  or  640  acres  of  land 
such  as  you  may  select  and  that  of  the  best  of  land,  and  in  a 
near  proximity  to  a  vast  ocean  and  in  a  mild  climate  where 
stock  feed  out  all  winter,  is  not  a  small  boon.  Nor  should  men 
of  piety  and  principle  leave  it  all  to  be  taken  by  worldlings  and 
worldly  men. 

A  man  of  your  stamp  can  do  much  by  coming  to  this  coun- 
try, if  you  adopt  correct  principles  and  action.  Should  you  come, 
the  best  way  is  to  take  a  raft  at  Olean,  if  you  are  near  Cuba  at 
the  time  of  starting.  You  will  need  to  bring  bedding  with  you 
for  the  journey,  so  that  you  can  come  on  a  raft,  and  also  take  a 
deck  passage  on  the  steamboat  if  you  wish  to  be  saving  of  money. 
A  piece  of  cloth  painted  suitable  to  spread  under  a  bed  will  be 
most  useful.  Do  not  bring  feathers,  but  let  your  bed  be  made  of 
blankets,  quilts,  etc.  If  you  want  any  goods  after  you  get  into 
the  country,  be  sure  and  have  them  come  around  by  water,  if  you 


202  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

do  not  like  to  trust  the  shippers  in  the  country.  A  train  of  oxen 
will  be  the  best  with  a  light  wagon;  no  loading  except  provis- 
ions. Good  sheep  are  excellent  stock  to  drive,  and  travel  well. 
Some  sheep  we  imported  from  the  Sandwich  Islands  in  1838, 
have  increased  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  per  cent,  in  eight 
years.  Think  of  what  a  few  good  men  could  do  to  come  together 
into  the  country.  On  the  way  they  could  make  a  party  of  their 
own  and  so  rest  on  the  Sabbath.  With  640  acres  of  land  as  bounty, 
they  could,  by  mutual  consent,  set  apart  a  portion  for  the  main- 
tenance of  the  gospel  and  for  schools  and  learning  in  such  form  as 
they  felt  disposed. 

A  large  country  to  the  south  as  far  as  the  California  line  is 
now  open  by  the  new  wagon  route  made  this  fall. 

You  have  a  good  faculty  to  be  a  pioneer  and  lead  out  a  colony; 
that  is  to  start  people  to  come.  But  when  once  on  the  way  do 
not  over-persuade,  but  remember  that  the  best  of  men  and  women 
when  fatigued  and  anxious  by  the  way  will  be  very  jealous  of  all 
their  rights  and  privileges  and  must  be  left  to  take  their  own  way 
if  possible.     Restraint  will  not  be  borne  under  such  circumstances. 

As  I  do  not  know  where  to  sent  to  reach  you,  I  will  direct 
this  to  the  care  of  Father  Prentiss,  who  will  forward  it  to  you, 
after  reading  it  himself. 

The  Indians  are  doing  very  well  we  think  in  their  way  and 
their  habits  of  civilization.  A  good  attention  is  paid  to  religious 
instruction.  Morning  and  evening  worship  is  quite  general  in 
their  lodges,  and  a  blessing  is  strictly  regarded  as  being  a  duty  to 
be  asked  upon  taking  food. 

I  do  not  think  you  can  be  ignorant  of  the  advantages  of  this 
country,  nor  of  its  disadvantages.  I  wrote  a  letter  to  Father  Hotch- 
kiss,  which  I  hope  was  copied  and  sent  to  Father  Prentiss,  which 
you  may  have  seen.  That  applies  to  this  section  and  climate. 
The  country  best  suited  for  settlement  are  the  Willamette  valley 
and  the  coast  west.  Then  the  valley  of  the  Umpqua  on  the 
south,  and  still  south  the  Klamath  which  takes  you  south  to  the 
California  line. 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  203 

North  of  the  Columbia,  you  know,  is  iu  dispute  between  the 
British  and  the  States;  you  may  early  learn  the   result. 

The  greatest  objection  to  the  country  west  of  the  Cascade 
range  is  the  rains  in  Avinter.  But  that  is  more  than  overbalanced 
by  the  exemption  from  the  care  and  labour  of  feeding  stock.  It 
is  not  that  so  much  rain  falls,  but  that  it  rains  a  great  many 
days  from  November  to  April  or  May.  People  that  are  settled  do 
not  find  it  so  rainy  as  to  be  much  of  an  objection.  It  is  a  climate 
much  like  England    in  that   respect. 

I  hope  you  will  excuse  the  freedom  with  which  I  have  writ- 
ten. If  we  shall  see  each  other,  we  can  better  bring  our  thoughts 
to  harmonize. 

Narcissa's  health  is  on  the  gain,  and  is  now  pretty  good.  She 
joins  me  in  love  to  yourself  and  wife,  hoping  to  see  you  both  in 
due  time. 

In  the  best  of  bonds, 

Yours  truly, 

Marcus  Whitman. 


Dear  Brother  Judson: — Husband  has  written  you  a  long  let- 
ter, for  which  I  am  glad,  for  he  can  write  so  much  better  than  I 
can.  I  do  hope  you  will  accept  of  his  invitation  and  come  to 
Oregon.  We  want  to  see  you  very  much,  and  there  is  much  good 
to  be  done  for  this  country  in  the  cause  of  Christ.  Your  heart  is 
here,  I  believe,  and  ever  has  been,  and  you  are  just  the  one  to 
come.  Wife  and  children  need  be  no  hindrance,  but  will  be  a 
great  comfort — true  it  is  some. 

We  feel  a  deep  interest  in  you  and  love  you  still,  and  ever 
shall,  not  only  for  your  own  worth,  but  for  her  sake  who  was  so 
dear  to  both  you  and  us.  It  is  a  cause  of  great  gratitude  that, 
although  the  Lord  has  broken  your  heart,  he  has,  as  it  were,  bound 
it  up  again,  and  given  you  still  to  enjoy  the  endearing  relation  of 
wife,  and  what  is  not  a  small  consideration,  that  of  father  to  a 
beloved  son.     Bless  the  Lord   for  these  great  mercies,  my  brother, 


204  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

for  we  never  know  trie  full  strength-  of  them  until  they  are  sev- 
ered. Should  you  be  called  to  lay  that  little  son  in  the  grave  you 
would  then  know  the  depths  of  a  father's  love. 

Please  remember  me  affectionately  to  your  dear  wife,  and 
say  to  her  that  I  should  be  most  happy  to  receive  a  letter  from 
her.  I  would  have  written  you  both  by  this  opportunity  upon 
a  separate  sheet,  but  for  the  want  of  time. 

My  family  is  large  and  I  have  much  to  see  to  in  the  care  of 
so  many  children.  Although  they  are  not  mine  by  birth,  yet  I 
am  interested  in  them  and  am  much  better  pleased  than  if  I  had 
not  the  opportunity  of  actiug  the  part  of  a  mother.  It  is  a  satis- 
faction to  feel  that  we  are  doing  good  and  saving  many  individ- 
uals from  being  worse  than  useless  in  this  world  and  lost  in  the 
world  to  come. 

Henrietta,  my  baby,  is  a  sweet,  interesting  child,  and  loves  me 
as  my  own  Alice  used  to,  and  I  love  her  dearly;  but  that  tender 
anxiety,  so  peculiar  to  mothers  for  their  own  offspring,  is  not  for 
me  to  feel  toward  her,  because  it  is  impossible.  She  is  now  two 
years  and  five  months  old,  and  attends  school  and  is  very  happy. 

For  some  reason  I  feel  assured  that  you  will  come  to  Oregon, 
and  that  I  shall  live  to  see  you  and  converse  with  you  face  to  face 
here  in  our  cheerful,  happy  home.  Till  then  adieu,  my  dear 
brother  and  sister,  and  may  the  Lord  bless  you  and  make  you  per- 
fect unto  every  work  through  Him  that  loved  us  and  gave  himself 
for  us. 

As  ever,  your  affectionate  sister, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Rev.  Lyman  P.  Judson,  or 

Hon.  Stephen  Prentiss, 

Cuba, 

Allegheny  County, 

New  York. 


OREGON   ASSOCIATION    PIONEER  205 


Waiilatpu,  Oregon  Territory,  United  States,! 

April  15,  1847.      J 

My  Dear  Jane: — I  received  your  letter  of  March  27th,  1846,  a 
week  ago  yesterday,  and  for  a  whole  day  I  could  think  of  nothing 
else  but  you  and  weep.  Not  a  letter  that  I  have  ever  received 
from  home  has  ever  given  me  such  intense  feelings  as  this  last  of 
yours.  I  am  glad  you  wrote  me  so  much  about  yourself.  If  you 
had  said  a  great  deal  more  I  would  have  been  much  better  satis- 
fied. True,  we  are  strangers  to  each  other  as  it  regards  our  situa- 
tion and  circumstances;  but  dear  and  beloved  as  ever.  Scarcely 
a  week  or  day  passes  without  some  incident  or  other  bringing 
you  to  mind,  and  we  often  converse  about  you.  Oh!  how  we  wish 
you  were  here  now,  this  very  moment.  It  seems  to  me  as  if  you 
would  be  happier  than  ever  in  your  life  before.  Perhaps  it  is  be- 
cause I  feel  that  I  should  be  so,  which  make  me  think  that  you 
w>uld  be;  at  any  rate,  I  have  every  reason  to  feel  that  you  would 
be  far  more  so  than  where  you  now  are.  There  are  many  happy 
little  beings  here  that  would  delight  to  call  you  Aunt  Jane,  and 
some  larger  ones,  too.  Why  did  you  not  come  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Tin unton?  Had  you  not  the  means?  Oh!  if  you  could  only  get 
here  in  some  safe  way,  we  would  be  willing  to  pay  most  any 
price  for  bringing  you.  You  say,  "you  shall  have  to  see  our  dear 
mother  first."  I  do  not  blame  you,  I  would  see  her  if  I  could. 
But  seeing  you  cannot  go  home,  you  had  better  come  here  than 
stay  there  and  perhaps  after  a  while  we  may  go  together  and  see 
our  beloved  parents.  Even  now  while  I  am  writing  I  feel  that 
perhaps  my  dear  Jane  and  Edward  are  starting,  or  are  on  their 
way  here.  Oh!  if  I  might  indulge  this  feeling.  I  do,  notwithstand- 
ing the  improbabilities,  and  that,  too,  perhaps,  to  be  disappointed. 
There  is  work  enough  here  for  you,  and  E.,  too,  and  just  such 
work  as  you  delight  in,  and  we  have  not  the  afflicting  trials  of 
which  you  speak,  opposition  from  those  who  ought  to  support 
and  sustain  us.  True,  we  have  our  trials,  but  they  can  be  borne  with- 
out so  sorely  afflicting  us.  If  we  could  only  know  when  you  would 
come,  we  would  send  horses  to  meet  you  at  Fort  Hall.  As  it  is  I 
feel  so  confident  that  you  may  be  on  your  way  now  that  I  intend 


206  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

writing  this  spring  to  a  friend  of  ours,  Mr.  McDonald  of  Fort 
Hall,  and  request  hirn  to  find  you  out  and  assist  you  down,  if  you 
are  not  so  well  provided  as  not  to  need  his  assistance.  This  en- 
couragement we  take  from  dear  Edward's  letter  written  in  '45,  and 
we  wrote  you  last  spring  and  particularly  insisted  on  your  com- 
ing immediately.  Those  letters  I  think  you  must  have  received, 
as  they  were  put  in  the  hands  of  Mr.  Palmer,  who  designed  to 
reach  the  States  as  soon  as  possible;  and  he  gave  me  some  en- 
couragement to  believe  that  he  would  call  on  you  and  deliver  the 
letters  with  his  own  hands.  He  said  he  should  return  this  spring 
with  his  family,  and  if  I  had  known  as  much  of  your  circum- 
stances as  I  now  do,  we  could  have  said  more  to  Mr.  P.  about  you, 
and  even  engaged  him  to  bring  you,  and  we  would  have  satisfied 
him  for  it. 

The  Lord  bless  you,  my  dear  sister,  and  reward  }-ou  an  hun- 
dred-fold even  in  this  life  for  all  the  trials  and  afflictions.  He 
calls  you  to  meet  with,  in  your  efforts  to  promote  His  glorious 
cause,  and  blessed  be  His  name  that  He  gives  you  grace  to  with- 
stand temptation,  and  a  time-serving  spirit. 

My  dear  husband  is  gone  to  Vancouver  and  has  been  absent 
for  several  weeks.  But  I  am  now  looking  for  him  every  moment. 
Indeed,  dear  Jane,  you  know  not  how  much  of  the  time  he  is 
away,  necessarily,  from  home.  That  is  one  very  good  reason  why 
I  want  you  here.  True,  I  am  not  without  my  comforts,  even 
when  he  is  away.  The  Lord  has  sent  us  a  dear  good  brother  who 
has  now  been  with  us  more  than  a  year,  in  whose  society  I  find 
much  enjoyment  and  satisfaction.  He  is  the  same  who  wrote 
you  last  spring,  and  you  may  judge  from  his  letter  something  of 
what  he  is.  We  talk,  sing,  labour,  and  study  together;  indeed,  he 
is  the  best  associate  I  ever  had,  Marcus  excepted,  and  better  than 
I  ever  expect  to  get  again,  unless  you  and  Edward  come  and  live 
with  me.  He  has  always  seemed  to  me  very  much  like  Brother  Ste- 
phen, and  I  have  often  fancied  myself  enjoying  his  society  again. 
I  can  assure  you  it  is  no  small  comfort  to  have  someone  to  sing 
with  who  knows  how  to  sing,  for  it  is  true,  Jane,  I  love  to  sing 
just    as  well    as  ever.      From    what    I   have    heard  of    Edward,  it 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  207 

would  be  pleasant  to  hear  him  again;  as  for  you,  kala  tilapsa 
kunka  (I  am  longing  for  you  continually  to  sing  with),  and  it 
may  be,  put  us  all  together,  with  the  violin  which  Mr.  Rogers 
plays,  we  should  make  music  such  as  would  cause  the  Indians  to 
stare. 

May  iSth — My  Dear  /ant': — The  time  has  nearly  arrived  for 
sending  this.  I  have  just  been  writing  Mr.  McDonald  of  Fort 
Hall  requesting  him  to  find  you  out  and  assist  you  down.  Don't 
go  the  southern  route  as  Mrs.  Thornton  did  and  nearly  lost  her 
life  by  it.  They  lost  everything  they  had  and  suffered  untold 
hardships.  If  I  had  time  I  could  tell  you  more  about  it.  I  am 
just  now  preparing  to  go  toTshimakain  station  with  Messrs.  Eells 
and  Walker  to  attend  a  meeting  of  mission.  It  is  180  miles 
north  of  us.  I  have  not  made  a  journey  on  horseback  for  six  or 
seven  years,  and  you  will  doubtless  be  pleased  to  hear  that  mv 
health  is  so  much  improved  as  to  be  able  to  undertake  such  a 
journey  again.  I  am  going  to  start  in  the  care  of  Mr.  Rogers, 
expecting  to  overtake  Mr.  Eells,  who  has  just  been  here  on  a  visit 
and  gone  to  Walla  Walla  for  some  goods.  Husband  can  go  much 
quicker  than  I  like  to  ride,  and  as  he  is  obliged  to  settle  with 
and  see  to  the  starting  of  the  immigrants  that  wintered  here,  he 
does  not  leave  home  until  several  days  after  I  do,  and  then  goes 
by  way  of  Mr.  Spalding's,  to  notify  him  and  see  to  some  business 
there.  So  you  see  my  dear  Marcus  is  almost  always  on  the  move. 
A  head  and  heart  more  full  of  benevolent  plans,  and  hands  more 
ready  in  the  execution  of  them  for  the  good  of  the  poor  Indian 
and  the  white  population  of  the  country,  you  have  probably  never 
seen.  I  would  write  you  several  pages,  but  if  this  should  meet 
you  on  the  way,  and  you  are  soon  to  be  here  as  we  most  earnestly 
desire,  I  had  much  rather  talk  with  you  than  write;  but  if  other- 
wise— if  this  still  finds  you  in  Ouincy — then  be  sure  and  come 
next  year.  Do  not  wait  to  go  and  see  mother  first;  corhe  and  see 
me  and  then  let  us  go  together,  or  perhaps  she  may  come  and  see 
us.  If  you  are  destitute  of  the  means,  then  get  some  one  to  bring 
you  and  we  will  pay  them  in  provisions  or  any  thing  else  that 
we  have  to  spare  when  they  arrive.  If  you  had  a  good  horse  and 
a  good  side-saddle,  it  would  be  better  for  vou  than  to  come  with- 


208  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

out.  I  shall  not  be  able  to  write  to  father,  mother,  or  any  of  the 
family  now,  but  if  there  is  time  after  we  return  I  may  do  it  then.' 
Husband  is  equally  pressed  and  cannot  write  to  any  one  more 
than  the  Board.  He  would  like  to  write  to  Mr.  Foote,  but  cannot 
now.  We  should  have  been  happy  to  have  had  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Thornton  to  winter  with  us,  but  they  did  not  come  this  way. 
How  many  will  go  the  southern  route  this  year  I  cannot^tell,  but 
I  could  wish  my  friends  would  not. 

I  should  like  to  say  much  about  the  Indians,  but  cannot. 
Our  prospects  for  usefulness  among  them  never  have  been  more 
encouraging  than  at  present.  The  field  is  white  for  the  harvest 
and  labourers  are  needed  to  enter  in  and  reap.  The  Lord  has  in- 
clined the  heart  of  Brother  Rogers  to  devote  himself  to  the  work, 
and  he  is  now  engaged  in  studying  the  language.  We  have  just 
received  a  letter  from  the  Dalls,  a  station  of  the  Methodist  mis- 
sion, wishing  this  mission  to  take  that  station,  as  they  judged 
best  to  abandon  it.  To  this  mission  it  is  a  very  important  station, 
and  the  brethren  will  probably  think  it  best  to  occupy  it;  but  we 
shall  need  more  help  still,  and  God  grant  to  send  labourers  into 
His  harvest. 

All  unite  in  sending  much  love  to  you  both,  praying  and 
hoping  that  we  may  be  permitted  to  see  you  both  here  soon,  dear 
sister  and  brother. 

Affectionately  yours, 

Narcissa  Whitman. 
Miss  Jane  A.  Prentiss, 

Quincv, 

Illinois. 


Waiilatpu,  Oregon  Territory,  j 
July  4th,  1847.    / 

Mv  Dear  Mother: — It  was  not  convenient  for  me  to  write  to 
any  of  my  friends  in  the  States,  the  past  spring  by  the  returning 
immigrants  except  sister  Jane.  To  her  I  wrote  briefly,  in  answer 
to  the  one  received  in  March  by  the  hand  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thorn- 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  209 

ton,  who  came  from  Ouincy,  Illinois.  It  was  nearly  a  year  in 
reaching  me  in  consequence  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thornton  taking  the 
southern  route  with  the  majority  of  the  immigrants.  What  would 
dear  mother  and  father  think  if  they  knew  how  anxiously  and 
eagerly  I  am  expecting  Jane  and  Edward  to  come  with  the  immi- 
grants of  the  season.  It  is,  indeed,  so.  We  are  looking  for  them 
with  deep  solicitude,  and  hope  and  pray  that  we  may  not  be  dis- 
appointed. From  what  she  wrote  me  last  spring,  I  think  she 
would  have  come  with  Mrs.  Thornton,  except  for  her  mother;  she 
desired  very  much  to  see  her  first.  It  was  the  same  with  her 
when  Marcus  was  there.  She  could  not  come  with  him  without 
seeing  mother  first.  Although  I  think  she  might  have  been  pre- 
vailed upon  at  that  time  to  have  come  with  him,  if  he  could  have 
seen  a  way  to  have  brought  her,  when  he  was  in  Quincy.  He 
learned  afterwards  that  she  might  have  come  very  safely  and  com- 
fortably with  one  of  the  families  that  were  coming  at  that  time. 
I  was  greatly  disappointed  and  felt  almost  inclined  to  reproach 
my  husband  for  not  making  more  effort  to  bring  her.  But  it  was 
all  right;  he  did  the  best  he  could  under  existing  circumstances. 
Since  that  time  I  have  rather  been  waiting  in  hopes  Edward 
would  complete  his  course  of  study  and  be  appointed  by  the 
Board  to  come  and  bring  her  with  him. 

From  their  letters  it  appears  he  has  not  been  making  that 
progress  desirable,  and  in  his  last  he  intimated  that  he  desired  to 
come  to  this  country  and  wished  to  know  of  us  if  we  would  en- 
courage it.  Accordingly,  last  spring  a  year,  we  wrote  to  them  both 
and  set  before  them  every  possible  inducement  to  have  them  come 
immediately,  Consequently  we  are  looking  for  them  and  shall 
be  not  a  little  disappointed  if  they  should  not  come.  Perhaps 
my  beloved  parents  would  wish  to  know  some  of  the  reasons  why, 
or  the  object  for  which  we  wish  to  have  them  here.  I  need  not 
speak  of  the  comfort  and  enjoyment  their  society  would  afford  us 
here  in  this  far-distant  land.  That  is  self-evident.  In  a  tempor- 
al view,  we  feel  that  they  would  be  better  situated  here  than 
where  they  now  are.  As  it  regards  their  usefulness,  perhaps  no 
place  could  be  found  where  they  could  do  more  for  the  advance- 
ment of  the  precious  cause  of  our  dear  Redeemer,  and  with  better 


2IO  TWENTY-FIRST    ANNUAL    REUNION 

success,  than  here,  whether  it  be  as  missionaries  to  the  Indians  or 
as  Christian  teachers  among  the  white  population  of  this  country. 
Good  help  of  every  kind  is  needed  here  in  our  missionary  work, 
and  if  they  were  now  here  we  could  fill  their  hands  (or  the  Lord 
could)  and  their  hearts,  too,  with  just  as  much  missionary  work 
as  they  could  well  do.  If  E.  still  desires  to  finish  his  preparation 
for  the  Gospel  ministry,  we  would  certainly  do  all  in  our  power 
to  facilitate  him,  and  at  the  same  time  he  could  render  himself 
useful  in  teaching  a  part  of  the  time  and  be  of  great  service  to  us. 
We  have  now  in  our  family  a  young  man  of  real  worth  (and  he 
has  been  with  us  almost  two  years),  who  came  to  this  country 
principally  forthe  benefit  of  his  health,  thinking  to  return  again 
after  a  season,  but  finding  it  improving  he  has  for  more  than  a 
year  past  been  pursuing  a  course  of  reading  and  study  with  a  view 
to  the  ministr)-.  He  had  commenced  studying  before  leaving  home, 
but  had  been  obliged  to  desist  on  account  of  his  health.  Since 
living  with  us,  he  has  had  his  mind  much  drawn  towards  the  sub- 
ject of  devoting  his  life  for  the  benefit  of  the  heathen,  and  last 
spring  came  to  the  determination  of  doing  so;  consequently,  he  is 
now  pursuing  the  study  of  Nez  Perces  language  in  connection  with 
his  other  studies.  Thus  the  Lord  has  had  compassion  on  us  and 
inclined  the  heart  of  one  dear  youth  to  enter  this  field  of  mission- 
ary labour. 

We  have  often  asked  for  more  associates  of  the  Beard,  and 
thev  have  met  our  solicitations  with  encouragement  and  many 
promises,  and  at  one  time  had  an  individual  appointed  for  this 
station;  but  he  failed  to  meet  his  engagements  and  went  over  to 
the  Presbyterian  Board  and  was  sent  by  them  to  some  other  part 
of  the  world.  At  present  we  have  no  encouragement  that  any 
will  be  sent  very  soon.  There  seems  to  be  a  great  destitution  of 
laborers  at  the  present  time,  or  of  those  who  are  qualified  and 
willing  to  go  forth  to  the  missionary  work.  This  mission  is 
needing  another  missionary  very  much  to  occupy  a  new  station  just 
offered  us  by  the  superintendent  of  the  Methodist  Mission.  It  is 
the  Waskopum  station,  situated  at  the  Dalls,  where  I  spent  the 
winter  while  my  husband  was  absent  to  the  States.  It  is  an  in- 
teresting and  very  imporfant  station,  particularly  so  with   refer- 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  211 

ence  to  its  locality  to  this  mission,  as  well  as  li>  the  cause  of  civ- 
ilization and  Christianity  in  the  country  at  large.  Our  mission 
have  appointed  Mr.  Walker,  of  the  Tshiniakain  station,  to  occu- 
py it  for  the  present,  until  sonic  other  oik*  can  be  obtained. 

Tuesday,  July  15th — While    engaged    in    writing    the  above,  I 

was  interrupted  by  the  arrival  of  Mr.  Ilininan  from  the  Willam- 
ette, lie  is  the  young  man  thai  taught  our  school  the  winter  of 
1S44,  of  whom  1  wrote  a--  becoming  a  Christian  and  uniting  with 
our  church.  He  has  come  up  to  try  to  obtain  the  use  of  the  mis- 
sion press  for  the  purpose  of  printing  another  paper  in  the  Wil- 
lamette. He  has  now  gone  on  to  see  the  other  mem  hers  of  the 
mission,  and  will  probably  visit  both  stations  before  he  returns. 
He  has  given  us  much  intelligence  concerning  the  lower  country. 
Five  ships  are  now  in  the  river  from  different  parts  of  the   world. 

Christians  of  all  denominations  are  trying  to  do  something 
for  the  upbuilding  of  Christ's  kingdom  in  the  land;  but  the  ene- 
mies of  the  cross  of  Christ  are  doing  much  faster. 

If  I  had  time  I  might  write  much  concerning  the  lower  coun- 
try that  would  be  of  interest,  but  for  the  present  I  desire  to 
speak  of  our  own  prospects  as  a  mission,  which  we  feel 
were  never  brighter  than  the  present  moment.  Shortly  after  clos- 
ing my  letter  to  Sister  Jane,  I  took  a  journey  to  Tshiniakain  to 
attend  a  general  meeting  of  our  mission.  It  is  now  six  years  this 
month  since  I  made  the  same  journey.  Since  that  time  1  have 
been  obliged  to  avoid  journeying  on  horseback,  on  account  of  my 
health  until  the  present  season.  I  am  happy  to  inform  you  that 
m\  health  has  so  much  improved  that  1  endured  the  journey  well, 
even  much  better  than  for  three  years  previous  to  relinquishing 
the  saddle  altogether.  For  this  I  desire  to  be  thankful.  I  was  absent 
from  home  a  little  more  than  three  weeks.  Our  meeting  was  an  inter- 
estinp;  one.  Never  probably  since  our  existence  as  a  mission,  has 
a  meeting  been  characterized  by  so  great  a  manifestation  of  the 
influence  of  the  spirit  of  God  upon  each  member,  as  at  that  time. 
All  seemed  to  feel  that  we  had  come  to  an  import  an  t  crisis  and  that 
God  alone  could  and   must  direct  us.      Our  Hoard  had   written  and 


212  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL   REUNION 

advised  to  abandon  the  Tshimakain  station  in  consequence  of  the 
discouragements  under  which  our  brethren  of  that  station  were 
laboring.  Mr.  Kells  was  advised  to  remove  to  this  station,  and  Mr. 
Walker  to  go  to  Kaniish,  the  station  Mr.  Smith  formerly  occupied. 
This  advice,  however,  was  accompanied  with  discretionary  power. 
Soon  after  the  arrival  of  Mr.  Greene's  letters,  came  the  offer  of  the 
station  at  the  Dalls.  This  all  acknowledged  to  be  an  important 
acquisition;  but  wbo  of  our  limited  number  should  occupy  it? 
After  much  deliberation  and  consultation,  it  was  finally  determined 
not  to  abandon  altogether  the  station  at  Tshimakain,  but  that 
during  the  winter  Mr.  Eells  with  his  family  remove  to  this  sta- 
tion to  act  as  a  minister  in  the  English  language  for  the  benefit 
of  our  own  families  and  those  who  may  winter  with  us,  and  that 
during  the  summer  his  time  be  spent  at  Tshimakain,  and  in  itin- 
erating among  the  Indians  in  that  language.  This  arrangement 
is  very  much  in  consequence  of  the  severity  of  the  winter  with 
them,  it  occupying  so  much  of  their  time  and  strength  in  caring 
for  themselves  and  their  animals.  Mr.  Walker  is  recommended 
to  occupy  the  station  at  the  Dalls.  for  the  present,  at  least,  or  un- 
til it  is    thought  best  to  make  some  other  arrangements. 

August  23 — My  Dear  Parents: — I  see  I  cannot  finish  my  letter 
without  interruptions,  and  long  ones,  too.  Another  resolution  of 
the  meeting  was  that  husband  see  to  getting  houses  built  for  the 
mothers  of  the  mission  families,  so  that  they  could  spend  the  win- 
ter here  for  the  sake  of  having  the  children  attend  school.  This 
would  relieve  me  greatly  of  having  to  board  them  as  I  have  done. 

Since  I  commenced  this  letter  many  changes  have  taken  place, 
which  entirely  prostrate  the  plans  and  resolutions  of  the  meeting. 
Mr.  W.  is  unwilling  to  remove  with  his  family  this  year,  on  ac- 
count of  Mrs.  W.  being  in  a  state  of  pregnancy,  which  was  known  at 
the  time  of  the  meeting,  but  not  made  an  objection.  Mr.  Eells  and 
family  must  remain  with  them  throughout  the  winter,  and  conse- 
quently will  not  need  a  house  here  as  was  expected.  Mrs.  S.  and 
children  expect  to  come  and  winter  here  unless  circumstances 
prevent.  Marcus  has  now  gone  to  Vancouver  on  business  to  bring 
up  the  property  of  the  mission   and   see  to  the  occupancy  of  the 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  213 

Dalls  station.  We  are  unwilling  to  let  it  pass  out  of  our  hands  and 
fall  into  the  hands  of  the  Catholics.  He  expects  to  hire  Mr.  Hin- 
man,  as  he  has  a  wife  now,  and  both  are  pious,  to  take  the  charge 
of  the  secular  affairs  of  the  station,  and  in  case  we  can  do  no  bet- 
ter, let  Perrin  (the  little  boy  that  was  with  us  in  Cuba,  but  now  grow  11 
to  be  quite  a  young  man),  his  nephew,  spend  the  winter  with  Mr' 
Hinman,  as  he  is  very  successful  in  speaking  the  language,  and 
can  read  and  talk  to  them  a  little.  Perrin,  with  one  of  our  good 
Indians  and  Mr.  Hinman,  we  think,  will  do  very  well  in  keeping 
up  the  station  until  a  missionary  can  be  sent.  Perrin  also  in- 
dulges a  hope. 

Husband  has  been  absent  more  than  two  weeks  and  it  will 
be  three  more  probably  before  he  returns. 

For  the  last  two  weeks  immigrants  have  been  passing,  proba- 
bly 80  or  100  wagons  have  already  passed  and  1,000  are  said  to  be 
on  the  road,  besides  the  Mormons.  Sixty  have  gone  the  southern 
route  that  proved  so  disastrous  last  year  to  all  that  went  that 
way.  I  have  heard  that  an  individual  passed  us  who  had  letters 
for  us  and  others,  so  that  we  are  deprived  of  hearing  from  our 
friends  as  soon  as  we  otherwise  should.  It  was  just  so  last 
year,  Mother's  letter  was  carried  by  to  the  Dalls  and  brought 
up  again  after  a  week  or  two  by  Mr.  Geiger  and  Mr.  Littlejolni. 
who  came  up  hereon  a  visit.  Mr.  G.  spent  the  winter  and  taught 
school.  Mr.  E/ittlejohn  and  family  have  gone  home  to  the  States; 
they  started  this  spring  and  came  here  while  I  was  absent  at  the 
meeting.  I  was  very  sorry  not  to  see  her.  She  was  Adeline  Sad- 
dler; I  presume  you  knew  her.  She  was  very  unwilling  to  leave 
the  country,  but  her  husband  has  become  such  an  hypochondriac 
that  there  was  no  living  with  him  in  peace.  He  wanted  to  kill 
himself  last  winter,  it  is  well  for  him  that  he  has  gone  to  the 
States,  where  he  can  be  taken  care  of.  Poor  woman;  she  is  dis- 
consolate and  sad,  and  greatly  changed  from  what  she  used  to  be. 
It  is  difficult  to  define  the  cause  of  his  malady.  He  seems  to  be 
very  much  like  Mr.  Munger,  the  individual  we  had  here  that  he- 
came  crazy,  and  at  last  caused  his  own  death  by  driving  two 
nails    into    one  of  his  hands,    and   afterwards   putting   it  into   a 


214  OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION 

hot  fire   until    it  was  burnt   to   a  crisp,  as  was  supposed,   to  work 
a  miracle. 

1  said  in  the  commencement  of  my  letter  that  I  was  expect- 
ing to  see  Jane  and  Edward  this  fall;  but  from  those  who  have 
already  passed  we  can  hear  nothing  from  them,  notwithstanding 
they  may  be  on  the  road,  for  among  so  many,  it  is  not  expected 
that  all  will  be  known  to  each  other. 

It  is  difficult  to  imagine  what  kind  of  a  winter  we  shall  have 
this  winter,  for  it  will  not  be  possible  for  so  many  to  all  pass 
through  the  Cascade  mountains  into  the  Willamette  this  fall, 
even  if  they  should  succeed  in  getting  through  the  Blue  Mountains 
as  far  as  here.  From  the  Dalls  on  to  the  Willamette  is  considered 
the  worst  part  of  the  route  from  the  States  to  the  end,  that  is,  to 
the  Willamette  valley.  We  are  not  likely  to  be  as  well  off  for 
provisions    this    season   as  usual — our  crops  are  not  as  abundant. 

Poor  people — those  that  are  not  able  to  get  on,  or  pay  for  what 
they  need — are  those  that  will  most  likely  wish  to  stop  here,  judg- 
ing from  the  past;  and  connected  with  this,  is  a  disposition  not 
to  work,  at  any  rate,  not  more  than  they  can  help.  The  poor  In- 
dians are  amazed  at  the  overwhelming  numbers  of  Americans 
coining  into  the  country.  They  seem  not  to  know  what  to  make 
of  it.  Very  many  of  the  principal  ones  are  dying,  and  some  have 
been  killed  by  other  Indians,  in  going  south  into  the  region  of 
California.  The  remaining  ones  seem  attached  to  us,  and  cling  to 
us  the  closer;  cultivate  their  farms  quite  extensively,  and  do  not 
wish  to  see  any  Sniapus  (Americans)  settle  among  them  here; 
they  are  willing  to  have  them  spend  the  winter  here,  but  in  the 
spring  they  must  all  goon.  They  would  be  willing  to  have  more 
missionaries  stop  and  those  devoted  to  their  good.  They  expect 
that  eventually  this  country  will  be  settled  by  them,  but  they 
wish  to  see  the  Willamette  filled  up  first. 

We  wish  to  employ  a  teacher  for  the  winter.  If  J.  and  l{.  do 
not  come,  we  must  look  out  for  someone  among  the  immigrants. 
We  should  prefer  an  accomplished  young  lady  from  the  Eastern 
States,  if  such  could  be  found  to  teach  the  children  of  our  families. 


OREGON   PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  21 5 

Young  ladies  arc  greatly  needed  in  this  country  as  teachers — also 
female  help  of  all  kinds.  Many  more  men  than  women  come 
into  the  country.  Almost  every  body  has  been  sick  in  the  West- 
ern States  which  is  said  to  be  the  cause  of  so  large  influx  this  way. 
When  1  heard  that  dear  brother  Harvey  was  going  to  Virginia,  I 
could  not  but  help  desiring  him  to  come  this  way.  (),  if  lie  was 
here  now  to  take  our  farm,  how  much  better  it  would  be  for  him 
and  us,  too;  we  need  just  such  a  man.  1  would  that  he  would  come 
and  two  or  three  others  just  like  him,  for  their  help  is  greatly  need- 
ed. I  wrote  him  to  come,  but  do  not  know  that  he  got  my  letter. 
Husband  is  wearing  out  fast;  his  heart  and  hands  are  so  full  all 
the  time,  that  his  brethren  feel  solicitous  about  him,  but  cannot 
help  him;  his  benevolence  is  unbounded,  and  he  oftens  goes  to 
the  extent  of  his  ability,  and  often  beyond,  in  doing  good  to  the 
Indians  and  white  men. 

It  is  probably  not  right  forme  to  desire  to  have  father  and  moth- 
er here;  but  still  I  cannot  help  thinking  all  the  time,  O,  if  they 
were  here.  God  grant  that  they  may  live  long  to  pray  for  their 
unworthy  children  among  the  Indians. 

We  hear  that  a  monthly  mail  route  is  to  be,  or  already  is, 
established  on  the  coast  south — a  steamer  to  take  packages  from 
Panama,  that  come  across  the  Isthmus  of  Darieu.  I  hope  it  will 
not  be  so  difficult  to  hear  from  home  as  formerly.  I  intend  to 
send  this  that  way  for  an  experiment.  I  send  this  by  our  man 
and  John,  one  of  the  orphan  boys,  who  go  with  two  ox  teams  to 
the  Dalles  to  bring  up  the  threshing  machine,  cornsheller,  ploughs 
for  Indians,  and  other  goods  for  the  mission,  also  books  for  Mr. 
Rogers,  the  pious  young  man  of  wdiom  I  have  spoken,  that  husband 
brings  up  in  a  boat  from  Vancouver. 

Now  I  have  the  care  of  two  additional  boys  for  a  year,  who 
are  left  here  by  their  fathers  for  the  benefit  of  school;  they  are 
native  half  breeds.  May  the  richest  of  heaven's  blessings  ever 
rest  upon  my  beloved  father  and  mother. 

From  your  ever  affectionate  daughter, 

N  \KC1SS  A. 


2l6  TWENTY-FIRST   ANNUAL    REUNION 

WaiilaTpu,  Oct.  12th,  1847. 

Dear  Jane: — Two  men  are  at  this  place  on  their  way  to  the 
States.  One  of  them,  Mr.  Glenday,  intends  to  return  to  this  coun- 
try next  spring  with  his  fainily.  I  have  importuned  him,  and 
made  an  arrangement  to  have  you  accompany  them  to  Waiilatpu. 
Now  Jane,  will  you  do  it?  I  know  you  will  not  refuse  to  come. 
At  least  I  feel  that  you  must  and  will  come.  I  wrote  you  last 
spring  and  told  you  that  I  was  expecting  you  and  E.  this  fall, 
and  I  have  been  looking  for  you  in  every  company  that  have 
passed.  But  I  have  not  seen  you  nor  received  any  letter  from 
either  of  you.  But  a  week  or  two  ago  when  I  was  on  the  Utilla 
river,  I  saw  an  individual  that  told  me  that  he  had  seen  a  brother 
of  mine  that  was  near  Independence  with  his  family,  that  he  was 
intending  to  come  to  Oregon  this  season,  but  could  not  get  ready, 
but  would  come  next  year.  He  furthermore  told  him  that  he 
wished  to  send  a  package  to  us,  and  would  go  to  his  house  and 
get  it,  which  was  five  miles  distant,  if  he  would  bring  it.  This 
individual  said  he  promised  to  bring  it  and  would  have  waited 
for  it  had  it  been  possible,  but  the  company  with  whom  he  trav- 
eled started  before  he  expected  and  he  was  obliged  to  leave  before 
he  returned  with  the  package.  From  his  description,  I  was  con- 
fident that  it  was  Brother  Harvey,  and  you  can  better  imagine 
than  I  can  describe,  the  joy  I  felt  on  receiving  such  intelligence. 
I  have  also  received  a  letter  from  father  and  Brother  J.  G.  They 
tell  me  that  H.  was  in  the  West  and  that  you  were  with  him.  Mr. 
Glenday  tells  me  that  there  is  a  teacher  in  Monticello  Seminary 
of  the  name  of  Prentiss,  and  he  thinks  it  must  be  you.  I  am 
at  a  loss  to  know  where  you  are.  I  write  you  every  spring,  but 
I  am    not  informed    if   you    ever  receive  my   letters. 

I  will  now  give  you  the  arrangements  we  have  made  with 
Mr.  Glenday  to  have  you  come  immediately  and  directly  to  us. 
He  says  when  you  receive  this  letter,  he  wishes  you  to  get  into  a 
boat  or  stage  and  go  directly  to  St.  Charles  and  see  Mrs.  Glenday 
and  make  her  acquaintance.  She  is  a  pious  woman  and  he  is 
highly  pleased  with  the  idea  of  your  accompanying  them  to  be 
company  for  her   on  the  way.     He   says  he  will   bring  you  free  of 


OREGON    PIONEER    ASSOCIATION  217 

all  expense.  Of  course  we  shall  satisfy  him  when  you  arrive.  We 
are  confident  that  you  could  not  have  so  good  an  opportunity  to 
come  to  this  country  in  any  other  way  as  with  Mr.  G.  He  is  ac- 
customed to  travel  in  an  Indian  country,  and  knows  how  perfect- 
ly. I  am  satisfied  that  if  Brother  H.  and  his  family  and  E.  and 
yourself  would  make  the  arrangement  to  come  with  him  and 
would  submit  to  be  controlled  by  him  (as  he  is  coming  in  a  small 
party  by  himself),  you  would  be  the  gainers  by  it  in  the  end. 
Perhaps  you  would  think  that  for  so  small  a  party  it  would  be 
dangerous  traveling  through  the  Indian  country.  Is  would  be 
for  persons  entirely  unacquainted  with  the  Indians  and  with 
traveling  in  the  Indian  country.  But  you  may  rely  upon  Mr. 
Glenday;  that  he  knows  how  to  travel  and  can  escort  you  here 
quicker  and  safer  and  with  less  annoyance  from  dust  and  fatigue 
and  worn  out  cattle  and  with  half  the  expense  that  you  would  be 
at  to  come  any  other  way.  Notwithstanding  if,  after  consulta- 
tion and  due  deliberation,  Brother  Harvey  should  think  it  not 
best  to  come  with  him  but  to  remain  with  a  company  of  wagons, 
you  had  better  come  with  his  family,  as  from  what  you  wrote  I 
judge  you  must  be  short  of  the  means  to  get  here  comfortably,  and 
I  am  confident  you  could  not  come  so  well  in  any  other  way. 
You  will  always  hear  it  said  by  every  one  who  knows  anything 
about  the  way,  "Bring  as  few  things  as  possible."  I  would  advise 
you  and  my  brothers  and  Sister  L.  to  be  governed  by  Mr.  G.'s  ad- 
vice about  what  you  bring,  as  well  as  the  amount.  I  will  add 
however,  that  I  would  prefer  you  would  not  cumber  yourself  with 
anything  except  what  you  need  on  the  way,  and  to  bring  your 
minds  to  need  as  little  as  possible.  I  consider  Mr.  G.  capable  of 
giving  you  directions  upon  this  subject,  and  such,  too,  as  will  meet 
my  mind  more  fully  than  I  can  express  by  writing.  We  have 
enough  to  supply  you  when  you  get  here;  and  if  we  have  not  we 
can  get  it  here. 

You  know  not  how  much  you  are  all  needed  here  this  present 
moment;  yes,  I  may  say,  we  are  suffering  and  shall  suffer  for  the 
want  of  your  assistance  and  presence  here  this  winter. 

Dear   Jane,  I    have  written    in    great    haste,  as    I  have  but    a 


2l8  TWENTIETH    ANNUAL   REUNION 

moment  to  write,  and  a  hurried  one  at  that;  for  it  is  all  confusion 
as  usual  when  immigrants  are  about  us.  I  would  write  Brothers 
H.  and  E.  and  Sister  E.,  but  Mr.  G.  wishes  to  be  burdened  with  as 
little  as  possible,  for  he  may  have  to  go  on  snow  shoes  a  part  of 
the  way.  He  wishes  to  return  next  spring,  and  about  the  last  of 
August  encourages  me  to  think  that,  if  spared  and  prospered,  he 
will  set  you  down  at  our  door.  I  cannot  help  feeling  rejoiced 
that  Providence  has  opened  up  a  way,  to  appearance  so  favorable, 
for  the  safe,  easy  and  speed}'  transport  of  my  dear  Jane  to  my 
arms.  I  long  to  see  you  all,  and  should  much  prefer  to  have  you 
all  come  with  him  if  you  felt  it  best.  But  he  seems  to  think 
that  my  brothers  would  not  be  willing  to  come  with  him  on 
account  of  traveling  in  so  small  a  party. 

Wednesday  morn — Dear  Jane  and  Edward; — I  have  been  talk- 
ing this  morning  to  Mr.  Glenday  about  you  coming  with  him.  I 
am  at  a  loss  how  to  direct  him  to  find  you.  I  do  not  know  where 
Brother  Harvey  is.  Father  says  he  is  in  Ouincy  and  that  you  are 
with  him  and  that  Edward  is  in  Hazel  Green,  Wisconsin.  He  is 
confident,  however,  that  he  will  find  you  all  and  Brother  H.  as  he 
goes  in,  especially  if  he  is  anywhere  in  the  vicinity  of  Independ- 
ence. I  expect  husband  will  write  Harvey  if  he  gets  away  from 
his  cares  long  enough;  but  lest  he  should  not,  I  will  suppose  you 
all  together  and  talk  to  you  en  masse,  for  it  is  impossible  to  write 
separate  letters.  We,  that  is  husband  and  self,  think  it  best  for 
you  all  to  come  with  him;  and  he  is  willing,  provided  you  all 
would  be  willing  to  submit  to  his  laws.  He  is  a  rigid  mountain- 
eer, and  the  principal  laws  in  an  Indian  country  are  to  be  partic- 
ular in  guarding  your  animals  lest  you  be  robbed  of  them  and 
left  on  foot.  You  cannot  imagine  the  distress  such  an  event 
would  occasion.  Man}'  events  of  that  kind  have  happened  to  the 
immigrants  of  the  present  year.  It  is  hard  work  to  cross  the 
Rock}'  Mountains  in  the  easiest  way  it  can  be  arranged.  If  I  had 
the  journey  to  make,  and  knew  as  much  as  I  now  do  about  travel- 
ing, I  should  by  all  means,  prefer  to  travel  in  the  camp  of  such  a 
man  as  Mr.  Glenday.  If  E.  comes  as  a  single  man  he  will  employ 
him  and  pay  him   wages  to  assist  in  driving   sheep;  consequently 


OREGON   ASSOCIATION    PIONEER  219 

lie  could  come  without  its  costiug  him  anything.  If  he  has  a 
wife  in  view,  he  had  better  marry  (that  is  if  he  has  found  a  good 
one) — let  his  motto  be  "a  good  one  or  none."  Mr.  G.  says  he  will 
be  to  the  expense  of  Jane's  outfit,  and  I  think  you  may  rely  upon  it. 
When  you  get  this  letter  you  must  write  him  and  direct  to  St. 
Charles  post  office,  then  he  will  write  you  and  invite  you  to 
come. 

It  may  not  be  strange  for  you  to  be  a  little  unbelieving  and 
think  it  not  true  that  we  have  sent  for  you,  but  when  you  see 
the  big  mule  that  we  have  sent  for  you,  Jane,  your  heart  may 
faint  within  you,  and  you  will  feel  that  it  is,  indeed,  so.  The 
name  of  the  big  mule  is  Uncle  Sam.  He  was  left  here  by  Fremont 
when  he  was  here  on  business  for  Uncle  Sam.  Mr.  Rodgers  is  ex- 
pecting a  brother-in-law,  sister  and  parents,  some  time  next 
summer. 

Jane,  there  will  be  no  use  in  your  going  home  to  see  ma  and 
pa  before  3'ou  come  here — it  will  only  make  the  matter  worse  with 
your  heart.  I  want  to  see  her  as  much  as  you.  If  you  will  all 
come  here  it  will  not  be  long  before  they  will  be  climbing  over 
the  Rocky  Mountains  to  see  us.  The  love  of  parents  for  their 
children  is  very  great.  I  see  already  in  their  movements,  indica- 
tions that  they  will  ere  long  come  this  way,  for  father  is  becom- 
ing quite  a  traveler.  Believe  me,  dear  Jane,  and  ?ome  without 
fail,  when  you  have  so  good  an  opportunity. 

Farewell, 

N.  W. 


f.  oa 


■08